Celebrating 40 Years in Music City USA
Our own Dr. Epiphone--AKA, Will Jones-- recently sat down with Charlie Shrader, owner of Nashville Used and New Music and Epiphone's largest local independent Authorized Epiphone Dealer, to commemorate 40 years of business in Music City, USA. Shrader and Dr. Epiphone talked about the last two phenomenal years offering the full Epiphone line including feature displays of the popular PRO-1 acoustic guitars to the complete collection Masterbilt Century acoustic archtops. Here's what Will found out.
In 1976, Charlie Shrader and friend Jim Mullins went on the road playing music together with a group called the Graduates. "We were performing all over the US, including international dates, even landing on the Billboard charts. We just knew we were going to make a ton of money playing music," Charlie says with a charming laugh. "During that period, I also had a shop on Nolensville Road selling customized furniture. One day we figured out that we both had several items of music gear that we needed to get rid of, so we pooled our stuff and started selling them." In a short time, they realized that they had sold-through all of their initial items and had even acquired some new-used items in trade. Jim and Charlie knew they had found yet another calling as they tracked down sources for guitar picks, strings and such and Nashville Used Music Store was born.
After a very successful year in their initial location, they moved across the street into their now-legendary location. When I was not even old enough to drive, I bought countless guitar strings, drum sticks, and a strange old ride cymbal (which I still have) among other things as have many veteran Epiphone staff members.
Charlie and Jim had various other music stores at times in the Middle Tennessee area. "We were operating as satellite locations, but eventually sold-off some of those stores or consolidated them back into the main location," said Charlie. They also owned a couple of night clubs including the Blazing Saddles and the famous Exit/Inn near Vanderbilt University. "Leon Russell, who just passed away played there a lot," Charlie adds. "In 1993 the store caught fire and burned to the ground, so after that we moved into our present location at 4876 Nolensville Road, in South Nashville."
Charlie's long time friend and partner Jim Mullins passed away in 2013, but Charlie has kept the tradition going. "We are the longest-operating full-line music store in Nashville selling not just "combo" gear such as guitars and amps, but also keyboards, drums, bluegrass instruments, woodwinds, brass, DJ gear, PA equipment, and about everything related that you can think of. Our store concentrates heavily on guitars, primarily used guitars. And when Epiphones would come in used, they didn't last long. I decided to become an Authorized Epiphone Dealer and be able to offer the whole line all of the time to my customers. We became Nashville Used and New Music Store! Right now, we have two of the nicest displays of special Epiphone collections that I've ever seen, by any brand, ever."
Charlie is referring to the PRO-1 acoustic and the new Masterbilt Century acoustic archtop displays that he has dedicated prime space to in his store. "We have the best selection anywhere of those. We constantly sell the PRO-1's and those new Masterbilt Century archtop acoustics are some of the most beautiful guitars in their appearance and sound that I've carried."
"One of the best things about Epiphone is that they have the quality of guitars costing 2, 3 or even 4 times the price. It's huge to me when a customer comes in the front door and asks 'where are your Epiphone guitars?' You can count on one hand the top brands that people know and want and Epiphone is one one of the most popular of them."
"We make sure our staff is properly trained in product knowledge and great customer service, with support before and after the sale. We don't operate on commission, instead we try to do the right thing for our customers, including the best price we can give them. If we do that, we know they will come back. We are open seven days a week, and offer financing, instrument repair and restoration services catering to touring professionals and students selecting their very first instrument. We still buy and sell in vintage and used gear, from your great-grandfather's fiddle, to your old high school. trombone."
Like all Epiphone dealers, all of Charlie's new Epiphone instruments come with Epiphone's Limited Lifetime Guarantee and Gibson 24/7/365 Customer Service. Visit the store's website for full details.