Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Rockley Music Center


     There's magic in a good music store. There's the smell of sheet music and the whiff of hope that you might soar into celebrity-hood by playing someone's composition with your unique style and talent. There are rows of acoustic guitars, maybe even one with a checkerboard face. There are more rows of Gibsons, Peaveys. Trills, Volts and more hanging from the ceiling where you can bend your head back, stare with your mouth wide open and dream rock star dreams. And then there are the Marshall stacks and packages of power cords and the drum room and piano room and the temptation of sitting on the bench in front of a shiny grand piano and playing a showboat piece for the clerks to oooh and aahhhhh about. This is the stuff of when-you-wish-upon-a-star. No doubt.

     One of Denver's most comprehensive music stores is located at 8555 West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood (next to the Charles Whitlock Recreation Center): ROCKLEY'S MUSIC CENTER. The business opened in 1946 when Mildred and Mel Rockley decided on a combination appliance and music store (wash and play, maybe?) It has since been passed down the line to Bob & Nina, then to Tobin and Leanne. They've maintained a vitality in the business with continual updating, expansion, and a row of music studios complete with teachers on the north side of the store. They've created their own Rockley Foundation which works with schools directly, giving them musical equipment which they sell at the end of the year and using the profit to buy new instruments. Get out and take a step back in time. Enjoy the painted mural on the store's front where student musicians are suspended on the wall, laboring with their instruments to reach their own natural Rocky Mountain high. Take joy in an authentic, been-around-awhile store full of that ephemeral thing known as music.

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