Manny’s Coda


Manny’s Musical Instruments, a Midtown landmark since 1935, is now defunct. The store, located in New York City‘s fabled Music Row (West 48th Street and Sixth Avenue) closed its doors forever in 2009, yet another victim of the city’s insatiable tide of gentrification.

However, the last of Manny’s may only be a harbinger for the last of Music Row entirely. Rockefeller Center kingpins have been purchasing portions of the block and may be aiming to expand the Center from across Sixth Avenue and over Music Row. Paul Ash, president of Sam Ash Music (who had bought up Manny’s in 1999), perceives the sands of time running out on the Row. “It’s inevitable that Music Row is going to end…we’re just waiting for the shoe to drop.” Indeed, Ian Goldrich, Manny’s grandson, says that he receives “at least a call a day” from someone who wants to buy the building owned by the founding family.

The legions of notable musicians who, over the decades, frequented Music Row in general and Manny’s in particular could fill volumes. Benny Goodman and Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles, among countless others, were known to have been regular Manny customers.

Even lesser known musicians, such as this aging blogger, once saved up his wampum and bought a used Fender STRATosphere, through the auspices of Manny’s, when he was just a left-handed guitarist (my only similarity to Hendrix) in his own rock ‘n’ roll band. However, that was a long, long time ago when everything, including youth, seemed forever …as a matter of course.

Source: Lost City