For the past year the Fred & Joe Show, featuring Fred W. Gretsch and Gretsch Guitars marketing manager Joe Carducci, has been visiting Gretsch guitar dealers across the country. Every stop along the way has been well-attended by enthusiastic guitar fans. But none has had quite as much historical significance as the October 1 show at the Sam Ash Music location in New York City.
Located on 48th street just off Times Square, the store was known as Manny’s Music when it was opened by Manny Goldrich in 1935. It stayed in the Goldrich family for sixty-four years, passing from Manny’s son Harry to grandson Ian. Over those years the store became famous for the number of top musical stars—and future stars—who shopped there.
In 1999 Manny’s was purchased by Sam Ash Music. Founded by Sam and Rose Ash in Brooklyn in 1924 and currently overseen by Sam’s sons Jerry and Paul (with the help of Jerry’s sons Sam, David, and Richard), Sam Ash Music is the nation’s largest family-owned retail music business. The 48th street store continued to operate under the “Manny’s” name until early in 2009, when it was fully converted to a Sam Ash Music location. But the family connections remain strong, with Ian Goldrich, grandson of the founder, helping to direct store operations.