A label founder who played a seminal role in house music has passed away. Larry Sherman, who co-founded the world-famous Trax Records, has died of heart failure at the age of 70.
According to a statement posted to the label’s official website, Sherman succumbed to heart disease on April 8th. “It is with great sadness that Trax Records and [label president] Rachael Cain must announce the passing of Larry Sherman, its legendary founder,” reads a passage. “There are no details of a memorial yet due to the worldwide pandemic.”
Definitive house singles such as Marshall Jefferson‘s “Move Your Body,” Mr. Fingers‘ “Can You Feel It,” and “Acid Trax” by Phuture found a home on Trax after its 1984 launch. The label also springboarded the careers of Frankie Knuckles, Jesse Saunders, and Vince Lawrence. The latter two artists played a key role in its inception. Cain herself started out as a signee under the alias Screamin’ Rachael.
As noted by the Chicago Sun-Times, Sherman left behind a “complex legacy.” Trax earned a reputation for signing artists into predatory deals; Sherman himself discussed some of the label’s controversial practices in the 2001 documentary, Pump Up The Volume.
Sherman is survived by his daughter, Tessa Sherman, and his widow, Sandyee Sherman. He had been planning a royalty fund to aid his artists impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, and his final wishes will be carried out by Rights Incorporated.
Image credit: Rachael Cain