September 28, 2023

Brad Marolf

Business & Finance Wonders

Ga new music store closes after 79 yrs in business enterprise

Steve Shepherd assists a customer during Chick Music's last day on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021 in Athens, Ga. Chick Music, a staple to the local music community, is closing due to the Shepherd family retiring after 79 years in business. (Kayla Renie/Athens Banner-Herald via AP)

Steve Shepherd helps a consumer for the duration of Chick Music’s previous day on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021 in Athens, Ga. Chick Songs, a staple to the neighborhood music neighborhood, is closing owing to the Shepherd loved ones retiring right after 79 years in business enterprise. (Kayla Renie/Athens Banner-Herald by means of AP)


When Chick Songs opened its doorways at 11 a.m. on Dec. 15, clients were now waiting around to get benefit of the low cost price ranges and interact in friendly dialogue with the staff members.

If you missed the “Retirement Sale” signals in the window, it might’ve seemed like a common afternoon of holiday getaway shopping in Athens.

It was the last working day of enterprise for Chick Songs, a family-owned musical instrument retailer that initial opened in 1942 in a shop on Faculty Avenue, where by Lewis Chick tuned pianos in the basement. Soon after becoming a member of the staff in 1947, Billy Shepherd and his wife, Anne, purchased the enterprise in 1963 and moved to 240 W. Clayton St. four many years afterwards.

As the 2nd generation of Shepherds to run Chick Music, Steve, Van and Christy have put in a long time treating the shop’s buyers like component of the family, and their retirement is tricky-earned and nicely-deserved. On closing day, Steve was active fixing a violin brought in for routine maintenance Christy was on the register and Van moved back again and forth from the sales ground to the entrance counter.

“This place is a portion of Athens new music heritage, but it is the men and women who have come via right here who created it that way,” stated Van. “We enjoy anyone who arrived by right now.”

One of the customers who stopped in to spend tribute to Chick Songs was Ken Richardson of Athens hip-hop legends Lo Down and Duddy, whose plaque on the Athens Music Walk of Fame is embedded in the sidewalk just outside the house of the store. Richardson introduced in pizza for the team donated by Minor Italy and shared stories of spending hours in the keyboard room in the early 1990s.

“It’s bittersweet for me to be in in this article nowadays,” claimed Richardson. “I learned to make beats on the Alesis SR16 drum machine they bought right here, and no one ever bothered me or questioned me to leave. When I acquired my 1st money tax return, I arrived in and I bought it.”

Even though the partitions that employed to be lined with guitars and band instruments were being largely bare, there have been nevertheless loads of equipment like drum heads, mic stands and different cables for guests to pore around, as effectively as many publications of sheet audio in the back place.

Workers member Braxton Thompson, who has worked at Chick New music for more than a 10 years, said that the Shepherds and their staff would probably share their tearful goodbyes when the store shut and they commenced moving out the cabinets and counters. When asked what he was going to do following, Thompson stated he prepared to instruct music and participate in gigs in the new yr.

In the household spirit that the Shepherds figured out from their mom and father, Van said that he and his brother and sisters would not be completely out the door for yet another few of months.

“Just knock on the window if you have to have anything,” Van reported.