The 1950s and 1960s broke all retail sales records. Large, established music stores opened branches in the suburbs, and dozens of young men and women with a background in music opened their own stores. They all rode the crest of the baby boom, a healthy economy, good school music programs and a revolution in popular music.
In 1956, a typical music store grossed $75,260 annually. Television sets replaced appliances as a major stock item, and spinet pianos proved popular for new suburban homes. High-fidelity record players, sheet music and records all sold well. Band instrument dealers thrived on instrument rentals for school music, but the most lucrative of all products was the Hammond “easy-play” chord organ.
Most stores were full-line dealers until the Beatles hit town. In the 1960s, old-line stores such as Grinnell Bros. were slow to adapt to new trends or to cater to long-haired teenagers looking for electric guitars and amplifiers.
They lost market share to hundreds of new combo shops that opened with the guitar boom. In 1966, guitar sales rose to a spectacular 1,430,000 units.
Street Address:Museum of Making Music5790 Armada DriveCarlsbad, CA 92008Phone: (760) 438-5996Fax: (760) 438-8964Toll Free: (877) 551-9976Send us an eMail