By now many Flyer readers have learned that someone entered River Records at 822 S. Highland late Thursday afternoon and fatally shot longtime proprietor Jerry Gibson during what police suspect to be a robbery. Police were called to the store around 5 p.m. and found Gibson unresponsive and bleeding just inside the front doorway. They have no suspects as of this writing but are canvassing the area and reviewing nearby security/CCTV footage for any evidence.
Jerry’s brother Lowell is the founder of Gibson’s Donuts but also spent many years managing the store’s comic book inventory, while Jerry handled the mountains of vinyl on hand. Local musicians Jeffrey Evans and Greg Cartwright of the Oblivians and Reigning Sound both logged several years as employees of River Records.
River Records’ veritable maze of bins (under and atop tables), and shelves and leaning towers of records attracted vinyl hounds from around the world. Many of us in town harbor great memories of blocking out an afternoon to engage in said activity while simultaneously enjoying some conversations with Gibson, who regularly spun (true) tales of A-list celebrities and famous musicians who’d shopped at the store.
This senseless tragedy has taken the life of a genuine Memphis treasure and living legend. The death of Jerry Gibson (who was in his early-80s), makes this a sad holiday season for those who knew or were friends with Jerry. Thoughts go out especially to the Gibson family.
If you have any information about this crime, please call Crime Stoppers at (901) 528-CASH.