By Miriam Raftery
February 23, 2010 (El Cajon) - A standing-room-only crowd turned out to savor music from seven different bands at Valley Music’s grand reopening on Saturday.
“This has been the best way to get people to find us,” co-owner Andrea Long said, noting that providing entertainment has been a successful way to help former customers find the store’s new location—and attract new customers as well.
Established in 1952, the store was a fixture on El Cajon’s Main Street for more than half a century. But when the building sold, Valley Music moved to a new location at 1611 North Magnolia Ave., Suite 310, in El Cajon’s Gateway Magnolia Plaza.
The store sells musical instruments of nearly all sorts, including acoustic and electric guitars, banjos, mandolins, harmonicas and drums, to name a few. Though new, the store has the feel of an old-fashioned music store--complete with bins of sheet music, school band instruments for rent, and lots of accessories such as guitar strings, metronomes and clarinet reeds.
Valley Music also takes special orders and offers "lessons on every instrument. All of them," said Long.
“We have open mike night the last Saturday of every month,” said Long, who has invested her retirement savings in hopes of keeping the doors open long enough for customers to rediscover Valley Music in its new off-the-beaten track location.
Organized by the Elephant Project, Saturday’s bash featured numerous bands and performers including Billy Leonard, Cain Street, the Winchester Friendly, Keeper, Kilgore Trout, Big City Hicks, and the Elephant Project. In between, local teens staged jam sessions (photo, right), keeping the crowd rockin’ – and business hopping.