José Roberto “Zero” Alves Freitas is a Brazilian businessman whose record collection of about five million discs is said to be the largest in existence. The first record he bought was Canta para a Juventude by Roberto Carlos, which he acquired around December 1964 or January 1965. By the time Freitas left high school he had 3,000 records. By the time he was 30, Freitas had acquired about 25–30,000 records.
Until recently, most of Freitas’s buying was anonymous. He placed adverts in Billboard magazine reading “RECORD COLLECTIONS. We BUY any record collection. Any style of music. We pay HIGHER prices than anyone else.” and used agents to act on his behalf. He bought the remaining stock of 200,000 records from Colony Records in New York’s Times Square after the store’s 2012 closure and bought the stock of the Rio de Janeiro’s Modern Sound store around the same time. Around 2013 he bought the collection of Murray Gershenz, the former proprietor of the Music Man Murray record shop in Los Angeles. Also in 2013, Freitas bought the collection of Paul Mawhinney of Record-Rama, once itself thought to be the largest in the world.
But enough of my yakkin’, here’s the man himself to explain it all.