When you walked down West 48th Street between 6th and 7th avenue known as “Music Row, you had cool independent music stores to hang out in like “Rod Baltimore”, “Sam Ash” and many others. One such store that was a beacon of light to a lot of musicians in various stages of their careers, was “Manny’s Music”, a small instrument shop that opened in 1935 and sold a variety of instruments but mostly guitars. What made it stand out was a few factors, one, it was family owned and run by the family, next, it was a landmark that once served as the heart of Manhattan’s music scene.
When you walked around and saw all the walls lined with so many autographs of famous musicians who had stopped by, you kind of wished that the walls could talk and tell you all the secrets they held. How could you not be inspired by all of it? “Manny’s was a place where you could almost feel the spirit of those musicians whose photos adorned the walls,” wrote Carlos Santana for Henry Goldrich’s book, ‘The Wall of Fame’. “I treasure my experiences in this wonderful place.”
Mountain Productions began to build their reputation as one of North America’s leading event production companies in 1981 after producing a legendary benefit concert for Simon and Garfunkel in Central Park. Just a few blocks away, Manny’s Music was where Paul Simon, himself, bought his first guitar at the age of twelve.
Jeff Skunk Baxter, of Steely Dan and Doobie Brothers fame, was also an admirer of Manny’s and the Goldrich family. “Everyone knows Henry Goldrich as a music store icon,” wrote Baxter. “I also know him as a mentor and friend. I first met Henry at Manny’s when I was fourteen years old and shopping on 48th Street in New York for a Fender Jazzmaster. As my musical career became more and more successful, first with Steely Dan and, later, with the Doobie Brothers, I would always stop in to see Henry.
Generations of musicians spanning from Buddy Holly and the Beatles to Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix trusted Manny’s Music on West 48th Street during their 74 years of operation. It’s the store that Buddy Holly got his first Stratocaster and the very same place where Jimi Hendrix got his. Mick Jagger and David Bowie shut down the neighborhood when they visited the store together.
Unfortunately, Manny’s Music is no longer around, and the building has been demolished. Despite this, the memories of Manny’s still live on via digitally.
You can check out the virtual Wall Of Fame here: http://mannysmusic.ning.com/
Manny’s Virtual Wall w/John Sebastian, Leslie West, Tom Chapin and Henry Goldrich of Manny’s Music! https://youtu.be/Gi39SF6KrCc
As for the Manny’s Store Sign, Joe Bonamassa is the proud owner of it and it will finally be reconstructed in all its glory and proudly be displayed at the Song Bird Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee. https://songbirds.rocks/ It will be displayed there for a while until Joe decides where it’s going next.
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