Goodbye Manny’s Music.

Manny's Music

I’ve been thinking of a pro-audio shop located in Times Square that recently announced it will be closing it’s doors. Part of being a New Yorker is saying goodbye to institutions you loved. Manny’s was born in Manhattan in 1935 by a saxophone salesmen named Manny Goldrich and it was filled with all the toys readers of this blog enjoy.

It was the first place in the NY area I found a Minimoog Voyager on display. I remember spending a few hours in the store twisting knobs and smashing keys on Bob’s creation. Not once did anyone tell me to take a hike or buy anything. In fact, every now and then an employee would walk over and tell me to turn it louder. Manny’s wood paneled walls were covered with signed photos from hundreds of rock stars who came in for a new string or chat.

The Ramones

I always thought it was strange Sam Ash was right next door and in 1999 Sam’s company bought Manny’s right out. Alas I am afraid this tale of 48th street won’t end here because the Rockafeller Center group are on a shopping spree and our entire music street is the target. With huge pressure from online, Guitar Center, the new Best Buy pro-audio stores and high NYC rents it’s not surprising Paul Ash noted he knew his store on 48th would disappear soon too.

Read more about the end of 48th street: Manny’s to Close in May; Entire Music Row of W. 48th Street Endangered and Turning down the sound on Times Square’s music row

photo credits: ArtBrom and whlteXbread

6 Comments

  1. While I’m sure I’ve walked past Manny’s many times, I swear I’ve never seen it. I’ll have to visit before it’s gone.

    I’ve never really liked the Sam Ash stores, though. Depressing lighting, or something, and the few employees I’ve found myself talking to were never terrible friendly.

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  2. There used to be a GREAT guitar shop down the block from Manny’s called 48th St. Custom. When that place closed, it turned into Two Lines Music (they had another, larger location in lower Manhattan, too), a fantastic synthesizer store. Amazing used gear, nice staff and everything was plugged in for you to try. My favorite place to hang out in the city while it was around, hands down. Two Lines (both locations) closed its doors a few years ago.

    There was a psychic/palm reader thing in the space the last time I was on 48th St. Even though that block has been on a death march for a while now, I’ll be sad when it’s gone.

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  3. Side affect of corporatization for ya..

    My uncle RIP… talked about Manny’s and 48th street as the music block..mentioned b4 Manny’s there was Mandolin Brothers out on Staten Island where he brought a first run Dobro slide guitar..I don’t think they were called Resonators yet.

    Most music stores I’ve been in have dickheads that work there. I’ve been kicked out of Sam Ash(though Rich Formidoni whose now doing product demoes for Korg, from the Queens Blvd Sam Ash was one of the coolest sales guys).. literally got cockblocked on a mixer at guitar center by F.Bones (fuckin sales guy was unracking mixer for me, nice floor model price, Frankie walks in, and literally salesuy just ignored me and sold Frankie the mixer)..Manny’s was good though…they had an eBay store that was huge but died a few years back.

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  4. Judd Goldrich I think he is the son of Manny has been @ g.c. 14th street now for a hot minute. I was never into 48th street to much of a hike.

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  5. Wow…The last time I’ve been to and shopped at Manny’s was in the late 80′s and now it’s gone (moment of silence).

    Great store that was.

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  6. The last time I was at Manny’s they didn’t have what I was looking for, so I planned to head over to Sam Ash, the clerk helping me let me know: “Oh no, they don’t have it at Sam Ash either, I was working there until a few hours ago… they bounce me between the stores all day, I’m the only one that knows what I’m talking about.”

    Too bad it’s closing, though.

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