The Joseph Patelson Music House, which traces its history back 89 years, and has long had a place on W. 56th Street near Carnegie Hall, may close in a week's time.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, of all publications—taking a Philly Orchestra angle—reported recently that clerks are anxious and shelves are increasingly bare at the musicians' resource. Said one clerk, "There’s no definite timetable. If I had to say, the end of the year." Marsha Patelson, owner of the store and a cellist, did not return the paper's phone calls.
However, a well-placed source tells Lost City that the store will likely close in a week's time.
It's still a family business. It began as the Half-Price Music Shop on Cooper Square, run by one Ernest Cook. Cook hired a student named Joseph Patelson, and left the business to him when he died in 1939. Patelson died in 1992, leaving the store to son Dan Patelson. That Patelson died in 2004, and his widow, Marsha, took over. Over the years, the business has moved to W. 59th Street, then 57th, the 56th, then, in 1947, another building on 56th, where it's been ever since.
I needn't point out that this news come hot of the heels of dire warnings as to the future of Music Row and Tin Pan Alley. In it's time, New York City has created much of the world's most lasting music. Does anyone care about this heritage anymore? Does City Hall? It seems not.