October 1 will be a sad day for music lovers. Technology claims another victim . . . the iconic Colony Music Center on Times Square in New York City is closing the doors.
Colony Music opened in 1948 and for 64 years, it has been a Times Square institution. Colony has over one million vinyl albums and sells the sheet music to every Broadway show ever made. Colony’s tag line is “I found it at the Colony!” If you can’t find it at the Colony, it is likely the music no longer exists.
The owners adapted to myriad changes in the music industry. First came albums and singles, 8-track tapes, cassettes, and CDs, but they couldn’t weather the digital age. And, the landlord is raising the rent from $1 million to somewhere around $5 million a month. Outrageous.
The likes of Neil Diamond, Michael Jackson, Neil Sedaka, and Carole King often browsed the aisles. The owner tells the story of James Brown walking in the door and saying, “Yeah, baby. This smells like a music store.” I know exactly what he means. A mecca for music lovers is silenced.
But, am I a hypocrite? I own a Kindle and download music (legally). Amazon knows me by my first name and I’m on their Christmas card list. I feel guilty about the part I am playing in the demise of record stores and bookshops.
How about you?
- Colony Records, a Longtime Midtown Music Shop, Is Poised to Close (nytimes.com)
- Colony Records, Broadway Music Landmark, to Close (wqxr.org)
- Manhattan’s legendary Colony Records set to close (dangerousminds.net)