B&J music to close after 62 years

May 11—DANVILLE — After 62 years of music and memories, Danville's B&J Music is about to take its final bow.

The store is in the middle of its closing sale that will end on May 31.

For the last 20 years, the store has been run by Mary Lou Cawthon, who has a personal tie to one of the initials in the the name

"The B and J stands for Bill and Joe ... Bill Montgerard and Joe Berkowitz started it, but Joe left after 3 months and Bill took it over. He had a brother, Jack, but that's not what the J stands for.," Cawthon said. "Bill is my brother-in-law and he is married to my sister. In 2004, I bought the business."

The business started downtown on North Vermillion Street in an alley with a storefront before going to Madison Square on Logan Street and then to its current place at 3232 N. Vermilion St.

The store sold and rented instruments and offered instruments to school bands in the area. B&J also offered lessons to anyone that wanted to truly learn an instrument.

While business has been down at the store and in many music retail stores across the nation, Cawthon said it was just time.

"I am turning 80 soon and it's time," Cawthon said. "It has been a good thing, but I hate that there is not going to be a music store in Danville. Most of the teachers have found other places to hold practices like their homes or churches. Also there is a studio in Oakwood that is offering to host lessons as well."

With the practices finding a new place, schools will have to go a little further to get their equipment.

"The Music Shoppe will be taking over the contracts for all of the schools that we have," Cawthon said. "They have three locations with the closest being in Champaign."

The Music Shoppe also has stores in Normal and Springfield and will take over all contract and rental accounts during the next few weeks.

Until May 31, the store will be open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Wednesday, Friday Saturday and Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m-8 p.m. The store is selling all of its items at 35 percent off during this time.