Short article and images by John Lawrence

The terrific building at 923 McMullen Booth Road when hosted generations Clearwaters bride-to-bes and their households commemorating wedding events and other special occasions is now among 47 Sam Ash Music Stores, said Danny Russo, the stores general supervisor. He began working there almost 20 years back, when Thoroughbred Music moved out of the area and Sam Ash moved in. Russo, a friendly and well-informed man, has actually seen national music stars, aspiring rock n rollers, jazz stars, and symphonic music students come through the shops front doors for almost a generation.

The Kapok Special Events Center on McMullen Booth Road is widely known for its Greco-Roman gardens with statues spouting waterfalls, as well as its exterior and interior spaces for wedding events, anniversaries, and other unique events.

” It was a totally different scene,” stated Jerry Ash. “We went from moms and dads dragging their kids into the stores to choose out band instruments to kids dragging their moms and dads into the shops to select out guitars.”

Thats a long way from the music store chains first days.

” Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Robin Zander, the rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist for Cheap Trick, lives near Clearwater and comes in here,” Russo stated. We definitely enjoy our beginners, such as youngsters, in our shop too.”

The concentrate on selling and leasing instruments to school kids stays a focus of Sam Ash stores, including in Clearwater, where Clearwater High School, Dunedin Elementary, and other band students need instruments.

In other areas of the store, one sees microphones, mic stands, music stands, tambourines, stand-up basses, and portable organs– standard fare for bands who use weekends in the area. There are rows and rows of sheet music for those looking for songs to contribute to their efficiency collection.

The music shops domed ceiling runs the length of the building, some 40 feet above a Saturday morning as customers turn through sheet music, run their fingers along the keys of electrical pianos, or blow a few bars of music through a red, glittering saxophone.

John Lawrence is a free-lance writer who has covered Florida occasions for decades. He delights in covering the individuals and places of Clearwater. He can be contacted at [email protected]

“That was an early part of the stores history, before World War II and we still offer musical instruments to kids today,” Russo stated. “Sam Ash Band & & Orchestral Musical Instrument Rental Program uses flexible, affordable musical instrument rental program for trainees at all of its retail locations,” he said.

They supplemented their financial investment by selling the $400 engagement ring he provided her and in 1924 made the down payment on what was to become the first Sam Ash Music shop. The music shop chains history mirroring patterns in American music.

Sam Ash Music Stores domed ceiling runs the length of the structure, some 40 feet above a Saturday morning as customers browse sheet music, running their fingers along the keys of electric pianos, or blow a few bars of music through a red, flashing saxophone.Sam Ash Music Store started leasing an area of the Kapok center buildings in 1999, showing numerous saxophones, tubas, ukuleles, guitars, drums, violins– and whatever that features them– along its walls.

In the 1950s, for instance, accordions became extremely popular in Americas living spaces and believe it or not, early rock and roll bands. The store broadened from offering sheet music to local artists and school kids to stocking accordions. In the 1960s, as rock and roll became four mop tops and electric guitars and basses, they equipped Fender Telecasters, Gibsons, amps, picks, wa-wa pedals, and drum sets. When they opened a store on 48th Street, aka music row in New York City, Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones, and other widely known and lower understood New York artists shopped there.

The fantastic building at 923 McMullen Booth Road as soon as hosted generations Clearwaters brides and their households commemorating wedding events and other special events is now one of 47 Sam Ash Music Stores, stated Danny Russo, the shops general supervisor. Russo, a well-informed and friendly guy, has actually seen nationwide music stars, aspiring rock n rollers, jazz stars, and classical music trainees come through the shops front doors for almost a generation.

Picture courtesy of Danny Russo George Lynch, the well known guitar player and former member of Lynch Mob (hit tune, “Hellfire”) hangs out with Danny Russo, left, at Sam Ash Music Store on McMullen Booth Road.” Sammy Ash, the grandson of the creator, said artists attempting out instruments are an important part of “the scene” at Ashs music shop. The music shop chains history matching patterns in American music.

The music scene is not almost individual artists dipping into home or live performances any more. Digital blending boards and software application that allows specific artists to collaborate in the cloud are the norm these days. Sam Ash on McMullen Booth has Ian Lawson, who teaches studio recording, sound blending, and all things digital audio and music production for the Internet.

Function photo caption: Local artists pertain to Sam Ash for their electrical guitars. Local celebrities like the Black Honkeys come in for equipment and other musical accoutrements.

Most importantly, and this is what Sam Ash desires, a set of guitar players sit on bar stools trading riffs, attempting out some new instruments. A few youngsters in the shops are music students from Clearwaters public schools, looking for band instruments to lease.

Given that life started returning to some level of regular because the onslaught of Covid 19, music students have actually been registering again. Prior to Covid hit, the store balanced 1,100 lessons a month, the highest number in the chain, Russo stated. Because Sam Ash reopened from noon to 7 p.m. every day, music and singing teachers, professionals in their field, have been registering an average of three trainees each day. The shop will soon return on track with its Wednesday night open mike nights, where artists can form up and jam on the live efficiency phase.

Photo courtesy of Danny Russo George Lynch, the well known guitarist and former member of Lynch Mob (hit song, “Hellfire”) hangs out with Danny Russo, left, at Sam Ash Music Store on McMullen Booth Road.” Anyone who plays music in this location, I know them, or they know me,” he said.

” I teach all type of aspects of digital recording, digital audio work stations, live audio setup, teach anything when it pertains to recording, editing strategy, the mastering part of it, utilizing any and most software application,” Lawson said.

At one end of the hall are two phases: one on each side of the primary boardwalk. Each of the spot-lit phases are piled with speakers and band and stage equipment for sale, consisting of metal catwalks, towers for amplifiers and lights, and mixing boards for live performances. A live efficiency stage for students who take lessons from lots of music teachers in the stores studios sits empty– but only for now.

Other widely known regional bands buy guitar strings, drum sticks, and other products in the shop, Russo stated.

Russo and Sam Ashs clients consist of a few of Clearwaters most important musicians, expert and otherwise, Russo stated. The store is simply down the street from Ruth Eckerd Hall, house to Florida Orchestra performances and the location for other widely known acts, such as Ringo Starr, Roger Daltrey and other national acts whose roadies might come by for last-minute guitar strings, pics, and such.

“This is a great music shop.” Sammy Ash, the grand son of the founder, stated musicians trying out instruments are an essential part of “the scene” at Ashs music store.