Brick & Mortar Music Stores



  • It is difficult for me to determine if life is better today than, say, in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Much has changed, some for the good and some not so much. The internet is certainly one of the most impactful changes that has occurred in the last 60 years, and some of its effects sadden me.

    My first owned cornet and trumpet were purchased at Bandy’s Music, a stand alone family owned business in a semi-rural location north of Fort Wayne,IN. The building was built into a bluff of sorts. Mr. & Mrs. Bandy lived above the store. They directed me to my trumpet teacher, whose impact on my life continues to this day. Not a single physical trace of Bandy’s Music can be found today, and only a few around these parts harbor any memory of the business and family.

    We are fortunate here in the Fort Wayne area to still have two stores specializing in band and orchestra instruments, one is locally owned and one is part of a small chain headquartered in Chicago. I believe their repair shops contribute significantly to their continuing viability. I have successful experience with both of them, and particularly in this season, am honestly thankful that they are here. I stopped by one of them yesterday to get the insertion end of a favorite mouthpiece trued up. The pleasant young lady that greeted me took it back to the technician and I browsed around the store. Several minutes later she returned with my mouthpiece trued up and polished. “What do I owe you?”, I asked. “No charge”, she replied. I thanked her and left. I try to do as much of my trumpet-related shopping locally as I can.

    Jim



  • I was thrilled on Saturday to see a small music shop had opened up about 5 minutes from my house. They even had a Bach Strad and a Yamaha Xeno on the shelf that they allowed me to play with. They're part of a chain that specializes in school band rentals, so I hope they'll actually stick around. Regardless, I've seen a lot more close than open in recent years.

    Same with book stores. My 2 favorite Ft. Worth book stores both closed in the last 10 years. And remember baseball card shops? Yeah, all those are gone....



  • In Dayton Ohio it's Hauer Music:

    https://www.hauermusic.com/

    The founding owner was well know to bringing nationally known trumpet players (Louis Armstrong, Wynton Marsalis, Allen Vizzutti, Doc Severinsen) into concert halls and even his own original mammoth store. We did the Dayton Trumpet Hang at Hauer's downtown location a couple a years hosted by Allen Vizzutti. And the trumpet tech there, Gary Dafler is second to none. Wynton has brought his horns in an his trips through Dayton to have Gary work on them. This is my location whenever I get the urge to go an a mouthpiece safari.



  • It was more personal in the old system. I had the pleasure of having lived for 20 years in Germany and, while there were national chains, it was nothing like it is here. Things cost a little more than in mega stores and the internet makes shopping about as simple as it can be, but I miss the homey touch.


  • Global Moderator

    Well, there are still a few good personal touch music stores around in Europe. Vienna has Votruba's, which is an old-established family business; Salzburg has the "Brasswerkstatt". In Munich, age-old competitors Hieber and Lindberg amalgamated into a single company, but their services have improved. And smallish family stores are spreading all over, selling ecological and local produce. All is not lost.



  • Shivelbine's Music in Cape Girardeau, Mo. has been around since about 1925. It started out as a Conn store. Peg Meyer owned it. It is my understanding that he promoted starting school band programs across southeast Missouri. He sold it to the Shivelbines in the 1950s. The store is still thriving. They deal rental instruments for a bunch of schools in southeast Missouri as well as providing many other music services.

    Their repair shop has been taking good care of musicians for a very long time. Peg told me he learned instrument repair from the Conn company. He was a very good musician and instrument technician. I learned to repair instruments working in their shop. I was hired to help clean up rental returns. I watched what was going on around me and Ron Duff, the shop foreman during my time there, taught me to repair. By the end of the summer they hired full time.

    Bill and Freck Shivelbine and their kids were fantastic people to work for. They were easy going but expected you to take care of business. When I go home to Cape I sometimes go down and wander around the store a bit.


  • Global Moderator

    When I learned of Rayburn's music in Boston (across the street from Symphony Hall) shutting its doors, that was the moment I realized that brick-and-mortar music stores were done for. I'm not sure how it is in the rest of the world, but in the USA, brick-and-mortar stores of all kinds are struggling. Same with bicycle shops.



  • @administrator said in Brick & Mortar Music Stores:

    When I learned of Rayburn's music in Boston (across the street from Symphony Hall) shutting its doors, that was the moment I realized that brick-and-mortar music stores were done for. I'm not sure how it is in the rest of the world, but in the USA, brick-and-mortar stores of all kinds are struggling. Same with bicycle shops.

    Actually, you might have to walk another 50 feet or so, but Virtuosity is there now diagonally across the intersection. https://www.virtuosityboston.com/



  • In the very early 1950's when I started playing there were several music stores around Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, the city where I was born. I was 16 and working after school delivering prescriptions by bike for a drugstore for $15 a week when I bought my first horn, a piece of junk, at a pawn shop. When I finished my time at the conservatory and started taking lessons from a local pro, he introduced me to a pro Sax player who owned a small music shop and sold instruments to many local musicians. I bought my first really decent horn, A Conn Constellation 28B, from this little store. The owner was a saint, always helping out players when they were having tough times. He let me pay for the 28B for $5 a week and kept score in a little book. I forgot the actual price of the horn ( perhaps $500 or more ) but it seemed like a fortune at the time. He didn't charge interest and if you missed a payment he didn't mind as long as you had a reason. I don't live in Halifax anymore but to my knowledge there are only 3 music stores, and they all belong to one national chain. Pretty sad.



  • My favorites where I have done regular business or have close friends working there and occasional business:
    Thompson Music in Omaha
    Thomann in Burgebrach, Germany (yes, they have an awesome storefront)
    Musik Bertram in Freiburg, Germany
    Rainer Jordan in Limburg, Germany
    Long&McQuade in Toronto, Canada



  • @ROWUK said in Brick & Mortar Music Stores:

    Musik Bertram

    I used to use Musik Bertram regularly. They had a neat catalogue, too. Remember them?

    Funny little anecdote about music stores.

    In Honolulu, if you wanted any musical items, you went to Harry's Music. One day, I needed a bottle of valve oil and found out about a big music store right across the way from the band room. When I went in, I told the salesman I was surprised. I had no idea they were so close and he said he wasn't surprised. The good-ole-boy and kickback system was so strong, that here was a music store right across the street and I usually took an hour round trip on the bus to go to Harry's.

    On the other hand, I took Saturday morning music lessons at Harry's and right next door was another mom and pop store that served a great breakfast of rice, Portuguese sausage and eggs. I used to live for that "music-lesson" trip. Ono.



  • I sometimes wonder about the music store going the way of the video rental stores. The internet sells everything. What the internet doesn't sell the giant box stores do with strong limitations in quality and service....all a matter of low price is everything. Even the Chinese are taking a bite out of the average citizens dollar for anything....through the mail from China with subsidized shipping cost as a "third world" level country..as they used to be... still clinging and benefiting from until some recent wrangling yet to be resolved. We all know of the white glove Chinese horns for the pennywise and pound foolish. Anybody read my plastic mouthpiece post? Kelly must be fighting a serious uphill cost vs value battle in cheap plastic mouthpieces. And that's to say nothing of my Chinese $10 Monette mouthpiece knock off... that plays just fine, for me... thank you.

    However, us collectors who are buying all sorts of horns at all sorts of price points because of history more than art need the neighborhood music store most of all. The one around the corner always has a drawer full of springs of various sizes they let me look though for one like I need and then charges me six bits for it. Then they repaired a trigger on a Conn for me for $5. When I didn't have a mouthpiece puller, when I got a horn with a mouthpiece stuck in it they pulled them for free. Ebay, Amazon, Walmart, aren't going to fill in this gap.

    One thing that used to be in my home town that I doubt still happens. A local music store hired a competent musician-teacher-instrument salesman to go around to the grade schools and middle schools and start bands that the store rented or sold instruments to after he got the contact to start the band...and real horns were being sold from Olds and Conn and other real American companies making actual respectable instruments.



  • Wow!
    Cincinnati has still quite a few mom and pop music shops. One guy around here is actually a trumpet guy and always has a nice selection of horns to behold.
    We also have the SamAsh and Guitar Center
    We have a few baseball card shops
    We have a place called half price books which is awesome. But the three bookstores that were dominate around here have been gon for at least 10 years
    And small hardware store that have absolutely everything



  • @djeffers78 said in Brick & Mortar Music Stores:

    Wow!
    Cincinnati has still quite a few mom and pop music shops.

    djeffers. Do you know if Buddy Rodger's Music is still around. I use to teach trumpet lessons at their North College Hill location when in college at the University of Cincinnati. I remembered they had an excellent selection of sheet music... and instructors as well!



  • @Comeback said in Brick & Mortar Music Stores:

    It is difficult for me to determine if life is better today than, say, in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Much has changed, some for the good and some not so much. The internet is certainly one of the most impactful changes that has occurred in the last 60 years, and some of its effects sadden me.

    Back in the day, I would go to Mobile Music in Glen Rock, NJ, Sam Ash in Paramus, NJ, and Giardinelli in midtown Manhattan. I purchased my first 3 pro horns at Sam Ash in Paramus, 2 of which I still have ... my Bach 43* Trumpet and my Getzen Eterna Flugelhorn. And of these 3 stores, only Sam Ash is still around.

    Today, I use Baltimore Brass and Chuck Levins, both located in Maryland. I share everyone's nostalgia for the way it was. It's different today. I agree that it's less personal. But with online retailers, we have more choices.

    Mike



  • @tmd said in Brick & Mortar Music Stores:
    ...I purchased my first 3 pro horns at Sam Ash in Paramus, 2 of which I still have ... my Bach 43* Trumpet and my Getzen Eterna Flugelhorn.

    Mike

    Mike. I got my Getzen Eterna Flugelhorn at Sam Ash as well in the 1970's. Very easy to work with them and had no trouble getting the exact horn I wanted.



  • @Dr-GO said in Brick & Mortar Music Stores:

    @djeffers78 said in Brick & Mortar Music Stores:

    Wow!
    Cincinnati has still quite a few mom and pop music shops.

    djeffers. Do you know if Buddy Rodger's Music is still around. I use to teach trumpet lessons at their North College Hill location when in college at the University of Cincinnati. I remembered they had an excellent selection of sheet music... and instructors as well!

    My parents rented my first cornet from Buddy Rogers back in 1963. My dad taught at North College Hill High School from 58' until 67'



  • @Dr-GO

    Yes!
    Buddy Rogers is a house hold name around here. Rented my first trumpet from there.
    I play in band with some of there employees. And I’m pretty sure they’re a sponsor of not only ours but many local bands.



  • @administrator said in Brick & Mortar Music Stores:

    When I learned of Rayburn's music in Boston (across the street from Symphony Hall) shutting its doors, that was the moment I realized that brick-and-mortar music stores were done for. I'm not sure how it is in the rest of the world, but in the USA, brick-and-mortar stores of all kinds are struggling. Same with bicycle shops.

    Bike shops in my city are exploding!!!



  • @djeffers78 said in Brick & Mortar Music Stores:

    @Dr-GO

    Yes!
    Buddy Rogers is a house hold name around here. Rented my first trumpet from there.
    I play in band with some of there employees. And I’m pretty sure they’re a sponsor of not only ours but many local bands.

    Got my college tuition paid for from a post I answered on Buddy Rodgers Community notice board to audition as the organist in a rock band to compete for a "Battle of the Bands" in Cheviot. We only had 7 days to rehearse before the competition. We played Blood Sweat & Tears, Chicago, Procol Harum, and Billy Preston tunes and won the night. That band stayed together albeit I switched out to playing trumpet and that band continued to gig 4 nights a week and paid my room and board, and college tuition. Would never have happened without Buddy Rodgers!


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