VIP Records owner Kelvin Anderson is keeping his brother's legacy alive through the VIP Family Foundation.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- The Anderson family is mourning the loss of Cletus Anderson, the founder of the iconic music chain VIP Records, which was established in 1967.
"He was, I would say a big inspiration for not only artists but for record labels, record companies," said Kelvin Anderson, Cletus's brother and owner of World Famous VIP Records.
"Cletus set a foundation, a premise for my family that I can say is unmeasured," said Tenisha Anderson, operating officer of World Famous VIP Records.
Earlier this week, the family announced on Instagram that Cletus passed away in his Mississippi home at the age of 82 years old after battling a long fight with gallbladder cancer. The Anderson family said Cletus was a pioneer in the West Coast music scene and VIP Records was more than just a store.
"I would say my brother was a mastermind when it comes down to marketing and promotion. We were big on in-store, play and promotions," Kelvin Anderson said. "But in June of 1978, he opened VIP
Records here in Long Beach. And six months later, he sold it to me. And so I was able to take the things that I had learned from him and to propel VIP Records not just being called VIP Records, but World Famous VIP Records."
World Famous VIP Records in Long Beach is the last store of the 14 locations that remain and the iconic sign is now a historic landmark.
Snoop Dogg famously shot one of his music videos at the store and even recorded his first demo in the small recording studio inside. Kelvin said Cletus had an ear for music and helped support a countless number of artists.
"He was the executive producer of the first ever rap record recorded on the West Coast, which was a song called "The Gigolo" by Disco Daddy and Captain Rapp. He was the first to record Ice-T back in 1983. VIP Records on his leadership was the backbone of rap along with other independent retail stores," Kelvin Anderson said.
Kelvin and Tenisha said 46 years later, they are still keeping the store's legacy alive through the VIP Family Foundation.
"We have used our platform to support independent artists. I believe as long as there's music, there will be an element of VIP around," Tenisha Anderson said.
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