Popular topics in this column last year were the music stores in downtown Fargo years ago. Memories of them came in because of a note from Lynn Johnson, Wheaton, Minn., who was trying to remember the name of the music store below the apartment she lived in.
Today, “Neighbors” passes on more memories you folks have sent in about those stores.
Barb Anderson, Fargo, writes that one music store was Marguerite's.
“The lady who owned it was originally from Jamestown, N.D., my hometown,” Barb writes. “She sold guitars and gave music lessons. Her son helped her.
“Her store was on Broadway for many years, and then she expanded and moved to 8th Street in Moorhead. It was a huge store.”
Previous columns included many mentions of Daveau’s Music. Dave Berg, formerly of Fargo and now of Peoria, Ariz., writes, “I remember Daveau’s as being the place where we bought our tickets for Verne Gagne’s All-Star Wrestling shows at the Fargo Civic Auditorium.
“Marty O’Neill, the announcer on TV broadcasts, always pronounced it ‘Dee-veaus.’ I thought it was a hoot that a cultural place like Daveau’s was the ticket outlet for low-brow entertainment like ‘rasslin’.”
But while on the topic of wrestling, Dave writes of the time his father “took me to see an All Star Wrestling event at the old Fargo Civic (near the foot of Broadway near Island Park, if my memory serves me).
“There was a wrestler named Hard Boiled Haggerty, and he was using a shoelace or something to choke his opponent.
“I ran up to the ring apron and yelled to the ref, ‘He’s cheating!’
“I don’t remember who won the match.”
Coffee table talk
Getting back to the music stores, here’s an email from Paul Overby, Wolford, N.D., who writes that as he was reading the comments folks sent in concerning the woman’s question about the name of the store she lived above, “I was reminded of the proverbial coffee table at a small town cafe where all the old guys are sitting around trying to remember something!
“I bet if all those folks responding to the question in your column were sitting at a coffee table trying to answer the question, the discussion would have gotten pretty lively over who was right before the conversation drifted off in a new direction based on someone’s poor memory!
“My wife Diane and I are finding ourselves having the same memory gaps sometimes, and it is either funny or not, depending on how well one’s sense of humor is primed!”
Now, here’s Phil Felde, Moorhead, who wonders if Lynn lived in the Broadway Hotel.
“It was above the J.W. Wylie Piano Co. at 115 ½ Broadway which was owned by Boyd Knox, who later changed the name to Knox Music Center, and sold pianos, organs, etc.,” Phil writes. “It appears to be the only one on the east side of Broadway that had living quarters above it.
“Daveau’s (later Schmitt) was at 613 1st Ave. N.; 613 ½ was vacant in 1978; back in the ‘40s and ‘50s it housed the Concordia Conservatory of Music, where I had violin lessons, and the young F-M Symphony played before moving to the Fargo Central High Auditorium.”
Here’s Tom Partridge, Moorhead, who writes, “The music store on Broadway next to the theater was Knox Music, which sold pianos. In the basement, Dave Kolle had a studio where he gave accordion lessons. A high school friend from Moorhead, Hal Pollack, gave guitar lessons there.
“I worked at Musicland, which was located at 91 Broadway; it sold records, stereos and TVs until it relocated in West Acres Mall, Fargo, when the mall opened in 1972.
“Daveau’s was located on 1st Avenue, behind Straus Clothing, which was on the corner of Broadway and 1st Avenue.
“I started working for Musicland in 1968,” Tom writes. “It was the best job I ever had.
“After two years of military service, my wife Debby (Ramberg) and I moved back to the Fargo-Moorhead area and my job with Musicland.
“Then we transferred to Little Rock, Ark., and finally Fort Worth, Texas, where our two children were raised and still reside.
“Debby and I moved back to Moorhead in 2001.
“Sadly, Debby passed away in May 2020.
“We had many happy memories of downtown Fargo, like lunches at the Pheasant Cafe and Shoey’s Lounge on payday.
“There were a lot of ‘characters’ in downtown Fargo during those days that made life interesting.”
Terryl (Tvedten) Wharton, Gainesville, Ga., writes, “I remember Daveau’s well. Sheet music and pianos were sold on the first floor where there were high ceilings. An RCA dog statue ‘greeted’ customers. Downstairs were stuffy, small windowed rooms where customers could ‘try out’ records.
“On the floor above the main floor,” Terryl says, “was the Conservatory of Music where various music professionals in the area — Isabel Thompson, violin; her son Lloyd?, cello; Mrs. Kisee, voice; and others — gave music lessons in small rooms. It was a long flight up, lugging my cello.
“Mrs. Berquist was the office manager, I think.
“Glorious music sounds escaped to the waiting room.”
Going back to Musicland, here’s an email from Judy (Brett) Smith, Fargo, who says, “I grew up in Fargo in the ‘60s, and spent a lot of Saturdays ‘shopping’ the stores on Broadway.
“My sisters, two friends and I would walk ‘uptown’ and one of the places to hang out was Musicland (north of NP Avenue on Broadway), searching for the latest British albums.
“There was also another music store north of Musicland on the west side of the street closer to the Fargo Theatre that was run and possibly owned by a guy named Bill Valine.
“Bill worked for Musicland, and if I recall, when they closed, he opened the store by the theater. He later moved the store to a spot north of the Great Northern tracks.
“Bill also happened to be the brother of Bobby Vee.
“I also remember the other music stores that were mentioned, but I spent most of my time at Musicland. But I do remember finding a Beatles album at Daveau’s that Musicland didn’t carry.
“Ahhh, the good ole days,” Judy concludes, “when all we had to worry about was where to get the latest Beatle albums instead of what mask to wear today!”
If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.