Hennessy Music Closes for Good

7 years 5 months 1 week ago Wednesday, June 30 2010 Jun 30, 2010 Wednesday, June 30, 2010 10:57:49 PM CDT June 30, 2010 in News

Frank Hennessy describes music in simple, yet dynamic, terms.

"It's the sound, tone; it's the emotions.  It's doing something you know how to do very well," he said.

The 77-year-old owned Hennessy and Sons Music Store in Columbia until Wednesday, the business' final day.

As some of the last patrons of the store filed in and out of the shop, while the bespectled and balding Hennessy gave parting words of wisdom.

To one mother and her children, he recommended that she "buy them a stereo."

Hennessy opened the shop in 1977 after he moved from Ohio.

A veteran of the Korean War, Hennessey used his passion for tuning and restoring old pianos to make money.

And along the way, he developed a knack for salesmanship.

"You need to have a good music background," he said, sitting next to a 19th century mahogany piano he restored. "You need to have a degree in music. You need to have a very good retail mind. That's the way it really ever works."

Other music store owners say during its time, Hennessy Music Store had an effect on musicians from the mid-Missouri area.

Bill Barnhouse owns Barnhouses' Crazy Music Store in downtown Columbia, a business he said is doing "not too bad."

But Barnhouse said he still is sad to see Hennessy's shop close.

"We knew darn near everyone of those fellas and ladies that work there and we're going to miss them," he said.

Barnhouse said he regularly sent customers--especially those looking for piano equipment--to Hennessy.

"Part of customer service is getting your customer satisfied and if you can't do it, you may know where to help them in their journey," he said.

It is a relationship he described as "symbiotic."

As for Frank Hennessy, he says he will continue to restore pianos in his spare time.

But he was certain that the shop had to close.

"It's time to say goodbye," he said.

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