Bill Love, a former concert promoter and founder of the defunct Co-op Tapes and Records store chain, passed away on June 23 in Peoria, Ill., according to the Peoria Journal Star, which did not list a cause of death.

Love, 60, founded the 27-store chain in Peoria in the 1970s, according to friend and former business competitor Dave Roger, an executive with the defunct Rose Records chain.

While the 2007 Billboard Retail Directory lists six Co-op stores (four in Illinois and two in Iowa), an employee in the Peoria outlets says the stores are all individually owned nowadays.

Prior to getting into retail, Love, who served in the U.S. army during the Vietnam War, was a concert promoter in the late 1960s and early 1970s, according to Roger.

"Bill was loved by record executives across the country, always popular at [the National Assn. of Recording Merchandisers annual conventions] and famous for his Wild Game Feeds (with Cheap Trick performing)," Roger said in an e-mail to Billboard.biz.

For the last 23 years, Love was the owner and editor of Heartland Outdoors Magazine, which he has run with his wife, Linda, according to the newspaper's obit. In addition to his wife, Love is survived by his mother, Gail; and two children, Kelsie and Kale; and sister, Patty Ahten. Memorials may be made to Northwoods Community Church in Peoria, or to the Children's Hospital of Illinois.

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