Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Musical Instrument Stores in Erie PA 1970

Old Time Erie ads from the 1970 General Telephone book, courtesy of Jeff George.
Did you take music lessons in Erie, PA in 1970? Or play in a band? If so, you should recognize a few of the music stores listed here. The Osiecki family had the market cornered with a one, and a two and a three and a four stores. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

Here's the list of retail musical instrument stores:
Dick Bulling's Music House of Erie, 1128 West 26th St. (2 blocks east of present store)
Discount Piano & Organ Sales, 504 West 8th St.
Erie School of Music, 2501 Peach St.
Froess Piano & Organ Co., 556 West 8th St.
Markham Music, 25 West 11th St.
Moore Music, 1007 West 6th St.
Osiecki Brothers Music Center, 2201 Parade St. and 828 West Erie Plaza
Osiecki Music Co., 1105 Parade St. (Later called Rodney's)
Osiecki Music Co., 3441 Peach St.
Ronzitti Music Store, 2603 Peach St.
Tune Toppers Music & Studio, 1809 State St.

There have been many retail stores that sold guitars, amplifiers, keyboards and drums over the years in Erie, Pennsylvania, but this one is limited to stores that existed in 1970. 

Click here for another article about Osiecki's

Enjoy more Erie history at: oldtimeerie.blogspot.com


  1. My best friend was the manager of the West Erie Plaza Store, and I also taught there for a short time before going on the road with three different bands. (Cows, Silverlight, The Rocco Sisters).

  2. I see that the Froess Piano store on West 8th is gone. I wonder if they went out of business after 125 years.

  3. Markham Music holds a special memory, as it's where my parents first rented a clarinet for me as a child.

    In brief: The first salesman that helped us seemed frustrated that I wasn't completely sure what instrument I wanted to play ("You're not SURE?"), but a kindly older gentleman must have overheard this transaction, and he jumped right in and took over, taking the time to lay out various mouthpieces (clarinet, flute, trumpet, saxophone...) and briefly instructed me how to blow on each one to get a sound. He was very patient and humorous, and took his time with us, which we greatly appreciated. We took home a clarinet that day.

    This still makes an impression on me 30-some years later, both as an example of a good salesman and a good person. I believe I was told later on that the gentleman who helped me was Dale Higgins, the big band leader from Erie. I'm not absolutely sure this is correct, but I'd like to think it so. Just putting this out there to see if anyone can confirm this, and to share what a kind spirit this man had.

  4. I took drum lessons at Markham from John Berarducci and have many fond memories of venturing into that damp basement studio to learn from him. The memory of the sound of various instruments emanating from the practice studios still fills me with a sense of artistic creation and possibility.

  5. I had guitar lessons from Rodney's back in the early 1990's. The building had a room where he kept all the pianos and organs for sale that had a huge vaulted ceiling with egg and stirrup molding. Part of me was sad to see the building fall into such a state after Joe Rodney died.