|Founder||Sam Ash Music Stores|
Number of locations
|Products||Musical instruments, Recording equipment and accessories|
Sam Ash Music Corp. was founded in 1924, and is the largest family-owned chain of musical instrument stores in the United States. Sam Ash sells musical instruments, recording equipment, DJ and lighting equipment, and professional sound equipment. The parent company, Sam Ash Music Corporation, also owns several major long-standing brands in the music industry, including Groove Percussion (drums and percussion), the Brownsville NY (guitars and amps), Carlo Robelli (stringed instruments, guitars, and accordions), and Jean Baptiste (brass and woodwinds). Some of Sam Ash's products, such as the Sam Ash Fuzz Boxx and Sam Ash Guitar Amps, have become collector's items.
Their flagship store has been located at 333 West 34th Street in Manhattan since 2013, with 30,000 feet of retail space. Previously, Sam Ash had a major presence with multiple storefronts on 48th St. in Manhattan.
Ash Family history
The family soon moved to Brooklyn, more specifically Hopkinson Avenue, in which the whole Ash family had resided for some time. As soon as they settled, Sam began school and stayed in school until the sixth grade. During this period Sam also attempted to learn English.
Sam’s father Morris later developed a tumor putting him temporarily out of work. By the time his condition improved he had already been replaced in his job. This left Sam to pay the bills by himself. Sam started out working as an apprentice in cutting. This helped to pay for the family, but Sam didn't enjoy the work. He wanted to continue his passion, the violin.
Sam soon began studying more on the violin and later started teaching others how to play. He went on to form the Sam Ash Orchestra. They played many weddings, dances and Jewish organizations around the New York City area.
In August 1923 Sam met his future wife, Rose Dinin. Rose had arrived in America around the same time as Sam, though she had emigrated from Russia when she was three. After six months they married on February 9, 1924. Sam was 27 and Rose was 21.
Being low on money, they didn’t move into their own house right away. They continued to reside in Sam's parents' house a little longer to earn the necessary money. Sam had been attempting to make a living by playing gigs, Rose felt that this was too precarious a living and they decided to start their own business. Sam wanted to make a store on what he knew best: music. They found a building owned by a widow who was willing to rent it out. To make the final down payment on the store, Rose had to pawn her engagement ring for $400 (she later got it back). This helped to buy what would become the first Sam Ash store.
Although they had bought the store, both Sam and Rose still spent another two years with Sam’s parents on Hopkinson Avenue in Brooklyn. Although they were officially renting both the store and the new home on 410 Saratoga Avenue in Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood. (This is where the name of Brownsville Guitars comes from).
At first the store only sold musical instruments and phonographs. When radios started becoming popular, the phonograph became less popular. In addition to selling phonographs they also sold records. Later, businesses like Sam Goody started competing.
In 1925, their first son Jerry was born. In 1929, Paul was born and in 1935, Marcia was born. The children would usually tend for both the home and the store. Jerry usually helped Sam make deliveries of music and instruments around New York, and Paul would help out within the store with Marcia (who also helped out around the house). During this time, Sam’s son Jerry joined the army and the family moved the store once again. It was now located in 236 Utica Avenue Brooklyn, only this time they owned the whole building and no longer had to rent. When Sam's son Jerry came home, Jerry married Bernice. Later Paul, like his brother Jerry, joined the army for three years.
- http://gothamist.com/2016/02/26/rip_music_row.php#photo-1 Archived 2016-09-05 at the Wayback Machine.
- "History - Sam Ash Music". Sam Ash Music. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
- "Sam Ash - Find a Grave". Find a Grave. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
- "Sam Ash - Long Island Music Hall of Fame". Long Island Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
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