Chesbro Music Company

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Coordinates: 43°29′28.2″N 112°02′26.6″W / 43.491167°N 112.040722°W / 43.491167; -112.040722

Chesbro Music Company
Privately held company
Industry Musical instrument manufacturing, wholesale
Founded 1911; 107 years ago (1911)
Founder Horace Chesbro
Headquarters Idaho Falls, Idaho, United States
Products Musical Instruments, Accessories, Sheet Music
Brands Teton Guitars
Website chesbrowholesale.com

Chesbro Music Company is a privately owned American manufacturer and wholesaler of musical instruments, musical instrument accessories and sheet music. Chesbro Music was founded in 1911 and is based in Idaho Falls, Idaho.[1] Chesbro owns Teton Guitars, and has been run by female CEOs since 1953.

Early history[edit]

Horace Chesbro, an 1897 violin studies graduate[2] of the Northern Indiana Normal School in Valparaiso, Indiana, and his brother, Harry, began Chesbro Music Company in a storefront in Idaho Falls, Idaho in 1911. Having manufactured upright pianos in Seattle, Washington,[3][4][5][6] they continued selling pianos and delivered them via horse-drawn wagon to rural Idaho communities.[7]

In 1925, Horace Chesbro started school band programs before public schools began funding and staffing their own music programs.[8] A year later, Chesbro Music was the first to introduce the rural Northwest to recorded music with the wind-up Edison Chippendale Console Disc Phonograph. Through the Great Depression, Chesbro Music continued operation by honoring debt or credit with trade and housing employees in-store. By the late 1930s, Chesbro Music began offering jobbing (wholesale) franchises. Billboard reported that Chesbro Music was among the top 20 sheet music jobbers in 1944.[9] Horace's son, Henry Chesbro, took over Chesbro Music Company as president in 1945 and began nationally wholesaling newly introduced LP records.

Female CEOs and Wholesale Expansion[edit]

In 1953, 70-year-old Ella Chesbro, Henry's mother, assumed management of the company due to the death of Henry Chesbro in a plane accident.[1][10] Ella expanded jobbing franchises to include independent dealers[11] who sold displays of stock music and folios.[12] Five years later, to accommodate wholesale growth, Chesbro Music expanded their original 1911 store front to a 60,000 square foot warehouse and added a modern facade.[13] Music industry executives and civic officials attended a ribbon-cutting in 1961 in the new building[14] marking the company's 50-year anniversary. Then, with a Stanford degree in economics, 37-year-old Joan Chesbro Griggs, the company's second female Ceo,[15] took the reins from her grandmother in 1969.[4] That year, Chesbro Music began attending the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California with a display of their wholesale business[16] and print music library.[17]

Having met Junpei Hoshino, president of Hoshino Gakki, at the 1972 NAMM Show, Joan entered Chesbro Music into a Western United States distributorship of Tama Drums and Ibanez Guitars[7][18][19][20] with Hoshino USA in 1973. She and Gary Bennett, a top tenured employee,[21] then helped Tama and Ibanez gain domestic popularity over the next four decades.[13][22] By the mid-1980s, Chesbro had enlisted membership in the Music Distributors Association (MDA)[23] and was labeled the second largest distributor of sheet music in the United States.[24] In 1999, daughters Vanetta Chesbro Wilson and Tana Jane Stahn, took on co-ownership of Chesbro Music. Distributing the Ibanez brand during the next decade contributed to Chesbro's growth through the 2000s.[15][25][26] In 2007, Chesbro Music Wholesale was recognized in the industry as one of the 36 "dealer friendly" companies.[27] In 2008, Gary Bennett was recognized for his nearly 35-year contribution to the music industry with a nomination by The Music & Sound Retailer as Representative of the Year.[28] The partnership between Chesbro Music and Hoshino Gakki ended in 2009.

During the transition, the sisters targeted their wholesale business to independent music dealers.[29][30][31] In 2010, Chesbro Music Co. introduced Teton Guitars,[32] a brand of acoustic guitars manufactured in China and named after a prominent mountain range near Chesbro Music Company headquarters. That same year Chesbro Music remained on The Music Trades magazine's list of largest companies in the music industry, ranked by sales, in the U.S.[33] The 2010 NAMM Show History Program also noted that Chesbro had "become one of the largest music wholesalers in the country[34]".

In 2011, Chesbro Music Company marked its 100-year anniversary[35][36] with an open house for local community, civic leaders, and employees. This anniversary was noted by industry trade magazines[30][37] and Chesbro was given a citation of distinction at the 2011 NAMM Show.

Vanetta died November 2013,[34][38] leaving her sister, Tana, to run the "Top 100[39]" company. In 2015 and 2017, industry trade magazines listed Chesbro Music as one of the top 100 leading suppliers in the music industry.[40][41] 2018 marked the 65th anniversary of a woman CEO running Chesbro Music.

Proprietary Brands[edit]

Teton Guitars, Ukuleles, Amplifiers, and Accessories[32]

Tanara® Acoustic and Electric Guitars[42]

Harmony Jewelry by Future Primitive. Licensed musical replicas include instruments from Fender, Gibson, Martin, and Rickenbacker.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b The Music Trades, "Integrity Has Built Chesbro Music Co.", March 1974 issue, page 64. https://42663fc993d37656913b-1a6c2ae57a0373e6e645c2f3050e64a8.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/2016/02/MusicTrades_March1974.jpg
  2. ^ "Full text of "A volume of memoirs and genealogy of representative citizens of the city of Seattle and county of King, Washington, including biographies of many of those who have passed away"". archive.org. 1903. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  3. ^ "Bring Her Home Chesbro reconnects with the past through century-old piano | idahofallsmagazine.com". www.idahofallsmagazine.com. Retrieved 2016-12-19.
  4. ^ a b Smede, Steve (November 2011). "Idaho Falls – Nov./Dec. 2011". read.uberflip.com. Idaho Falls Magazine. p. 41. Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  5. ^ "The Seattle Star" (PDF). December 12, 1904.
  6. ^ Bill, Edward Lyman (1904). "Kohler & Chase have purchased the business of H & H Chesbro, Seattle" (PDF). The Music Trade Review. XXXIX (25): 34 – via International Arcade Museum (IAM).
  7. ^ a b "Chesbro Music's distinguished 80-year record of service. – Music Trades | HighBeam Research". Music Trades. February 1991. Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  8. ^ Fennen, Carl; Fennen, Heather (January 1, 2011). Chesbro Music Co.: a history 1911–2011. Idaho Falls, ID: Alpha Graphics.
  9. ^ Inc, Nielsen Business Media (April 28, 1945). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.
  10. ^ Chesbro Music Co: A History 1911–2011. Alpha Graphics. January 1, 2011.
  11. ^ Inc, Nielsen Business Media (July 4, 1953). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 17. Air Crash Kills 3 in Chesbro Family
  12. ^ Inc, Nielsen Business Media (May 23, 1953). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 150.
  13. ^ a b "Chesbro Music Co. at 100 – Musical Merchandise Review". www.readperiodicals.com. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
  14. ^ "Chesbro Observes 50th Anniversary in Newly-modernized Headquarters." The Music Trades, July 1961
  15. ^ a b "ZoomInfo Cached Page "Friend of the Foundation (East) – The Chesbro Family" 4th paragraph". www.zoominfo.com. Idaho Community Foundation. 2014. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  16. ^ Music Trades. Music Trades Corporation. January 1, 1983. p. 20.
  17. ^ "Professional Materials". Music Educators Journal. 55 (7): 115–118. March 1, 1969. doi:10.2307/3392478. ISSN 0027-4321. JSTOR 3392478.
  18. ^ "Ibanez Guitars Hit Right Chord". philly-archives. Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  19. ^ Greenwood, Alan; Hembree, Gil (October 1, 2009). The Official Vintage Guitar Magazine Price Guide. Hal Leonard. p. 172. ISBN 9781884883217.
  20. ^ "The Bryan Times - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. p. 9. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
  21. ^ "Gary Bennett". NAMM.org. Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  22. ^ "Chesbro remodel to enter second phase | Post Register". www.postregister.com. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  23. ^ "National Directory of Members". musicdistributors.org. Retrieved 2016-03-01.
  24. ^ "Moscow-Pullman Daily News – Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 2016-09-07.
  25. ^ Specht, Paul. "MMR March 2009". Issuu. p. 20. Retrieved 2016-02-03.
  26. ^ Bacon, Tony (2013). The Ibanez Electric Guitar Book: A Complete History of Ibanez Electric Guitars. Backbeat Books. p. 60. ISBN 9781617134531.
  27. ^ "The Retailers Feature Edit". msretailer.com. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  28. ^ "The Retailers Feature Edit". www.msretailer.com. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  29. ^ Needleman, Sarah E. "Three Best Ways to Get Lean". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
  30. ^ a b "Chesbro Music Co. – Small Enough to Care, Big Enough to Get the Job Done Right. – Musical Merchandise Review". www.readperiodicals.com. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
  31. ^ "MMR August 2009 "State of the Wholesaler"". Issuu. p. 30. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  32. ^ a b "Teton Guitars | Amazing Acoustic and Electric Guitars". Teton® Guitars. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
  33. ^ "The Top 100: the sales ranking of the largest U.S. music products suppliers forcefully illustrates that no one was immune to the economic downturn. One thing everyone on the list agreed on: 2009 was the toughest year in their career.(SALES RANKINGS) – Music Trades | HighBeam Research". Music Trades. April 2010. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  34. ^ a b "Vanetta Wilson". NAMM.org. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
  35. ^ "Idaho Falls – May/June 2011". read.uberflip.com. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
  36. ^ "mmr-december-2010 "Chesbro Music Co. at 100"". Issuu. p. 76. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  37. ^ "Catch The Rebound With These Winning New Products!". archive.constantcontact.com. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
  38. ^ "Vanetta G. Wilson's Obituary on". Post Register. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
  39. ^ "Ranking The Industry's Top Players". digitaleditions.sheridan.com. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  40. ^ "The Top 100: North America's Top Music and Sound Suppliers". www.musictrades.com. April 2015. p. 110. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  41. ^ "Music Trades April 2017". p. 112. Retrieved 2017-04-04.
  42. ^ "Chesbro Music Company". tanaraguitars.com. Retrieved 2016-02-08.

External links[edit]