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Recently I had the pleasure to visit with one of my dearest friends whose family owns the state's oldest retail business: Skip Daynes of Daynes Music.
Daynes Music is the oldest music company west of the Mississippi and one of the longest continuously run family businesses in America. The company started in 1862 in a log building just east of First South in downtown Salt Lake City. Young Joseph Daynes, who was 11 at the time, was discovered playing the Harmonium (or an organ) and became the first Tabernacle organist after studying music in New York.
In the meantime, his father, John Daynes started a small music and jewelry business. In 1873, Daynes Music became a representative for Steinway and Sons pianos, a partnership that continues today. Later, John's son, Royal Daynes, took ownership of the company, successfully navigating through the Great Depression until his son, Gerald, took over in 1950. Skip became president in 1967 and has been at the helm ever since.
Daynes Music was located downtown for many years until 1990, when an opportunity arose to sell the building and move to Midvale. Skip purchased the new building then remodeled it to include a recital hall and an extensive Steinway showroom. The move was a wise one as the business continues to flourish and the recital hall is busy almost every week night.
Today, Daynes Music is a proud distributor of the Steinway family of instruments as well as Story & Clark Pianos and an extensive selection of sheet music. One of the company's latest and most exciting products is called Piano Scan. It can turn your acoustic piano into a recording studio complete with orchestral accompaniment. An optical scanner underneath the piano allows you to interface with a computer to add instrumental accompaniment, run music software and record and print sheet music. Skip anticipates Daynes Music will continue growing and move into its fifth generation of family ownership when his son, Todd, takes over in a few years.