id you know that Daynes Music Company is the oldest music store in the West and second oldest in the United States? It is also Utah’s oldest retailer and family-run business in the entire nation.
The company was established in 1862, just 15 years after the first settlers entered the valley. The company was 34 years old when Utah became a state and has become one of the most respected businesses in Utah ever since.
I recently visited with Skip Daynes who today continues the family tradition of providing and sponsoring great music in the Intermountain West. (I’ll bet you don’t know his real name is Gerald Daynes Jr. I have known Skip for nearly 30 years and just discovered his real name.) Well, Gerald, or Skip, explained to me how proud and happy he is to be continuing the great Daynes tradition. He took over from his father in 1967 and recently moved the company off of Main Street in downtown Salt Lake to a beautiful new site in the south end of the valley.
One thing I was very interested in learning was that Daynes Music has played a very significant role in the establishment and support of Utah’s three premier art groups. In 1940, Royal Daynes, Skip’s grandfather, assisted in the creation of the Utah Philharmonic Symphony, which later became the Utah symphony. His role as the financial facilitator for the organization made it possible for a relatively small city to enjoy a large and prestigious orchestra.
In 1963, Gerald, Skip’s father, was a primary founder of the Utah Civic Ballet, now known as Ballet West. Daynes’ Music store was the ballet company’s first home. For years, the entire top floor and basement were available for rehearsals and the ticket office was on the main floor.
In 1976, Skip continued the family tradition by making room for a new artistic entity. The Utah Opera Company was originally based in the store until it could go out on its own years later.
Daynes Music Company has evolved over the years. The store once carried a variety of musical instruments but now concentrates on piano sales, and is Utah’s exclusive Steinway dealer. One thing that has not changed is the passion to promote and enhance music and the arts in this great state. Here’s wishing Daynes Music another 139 years of making Utah lives more musical.
For Zions bank, I’m Fred Ball. I’m speaking on business.
Speaking on Business radio spot – November 29, 2001