Larry Finley; Leader in Audiotape, Videotape Business
Larry Finley, 87, leader in the audiotape and videotape business who founded the International Tape Assn. trade group, now the International Recording Media Assn. A native of Syracuse, N.Y., Finley began his long and eclectic career at 18 as manager of a local nightclub called the Cafe DeWitt. He moved to Los Angeles in the 1930s and opened Finley’s Credit Jewelers in Burbank, soon adding branches in Hollywood and elsewhere, and staging promotions with street dances and famous musicians. He worked with Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey in the Casino Gardens Ballroom, co-founded Finley-McKinnon Broadcasting Co., which owned San Diego’s radio station KSDJ, and created the pioneering television production company Finley Productions Inc. Among his shows were his own “The Larry Finley Show,” broadcast nightly from the restaurant he bought on the Sunset Strip, and other entertainment variety programs such as “Strictly Informal,” “Dinner at Eight” and “Music Is My Beat.” During the 1960s, Finley founded and became president of the International Tape Cartridge Corp., acquiring audiotape rights from 27 record labels. He founded the International Tape Assn. in 1970 and helped standardize the various types of audiotapes. Finley was a major fund-raiser and philanthropist, staging World War II benefits for the USO and producing an early telethon to raise money for the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte. He was inducted into the Video Hall of Fame in 1984, and in 1998 received the lifetime achievement award of the Vision Fund of America. On Monday in a Long Island hospice.