Promoter, Deceased Person
1911 – 1976
Who was Leo Mintz?
Leo M. Mintz was a record store owner in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, who was instrumental in the early establishment, marketing and promotion of rock and roll music.
He was born in Cleveland. In 1938, while working as assistant manager at an army surplus store, he decided to set up a record shop, Record Rendezvous, on Prospect Avenue in Cleveland, on the edge of the city's black community. Initially, this sold used jukebox records, which Mintz purchased through regular visits to a warehouse in Columbus. At the store, he was among the first to put records in boxes which customers could browse through, rather than having to ask for songs by name. He also provided listening booths so that customers could hear the records before purchasing them, and encouraged in-store promotional appearances by recording artists. The store became known as the "'Vous".
By about 1950, Mintz noticed an increase in the number of white teenagers sifting through his boxes, listening and dancing to rhythm and blues records, such as those by Ruth Brown, Wynonie Harris and Fats Domino, which had been marketed to African Americans.
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