Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

January 8, 2013
So Long, Farewell to Stowe Family Music

I was sitting in my kids’ piano recital in early December when I Heard it Through the Grapevine: Stowe Family Music was closing down at year’s end.

I gaped at my friend. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart!” I told her, but she said, “I Swear.”

So, Another One Bites the Dust in Tooele’s downtown. After a decade-long run, Stowe Family Music couldn’t keep Stayin’ Alive. Sadly, longevity eludes so many businesses on the south end of Main Street, it’s getting the rep of Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

Sigh. It’s hard to get any small business R-E-S-P-E-C-T nowadays.

Well, broken-hearted as I am, I Will Survive. After all, Big Girls Don’t Cry. But it’ll be hard to fill The Sounds of Silence the music store will leave behind.

For several minutes after the news broke, my mind went through a Sentimental Journey, going clear back when we first moved to Grantsville and I discovered Stowe Family Music. At that time, I was starting to feel like a Desperado, looking for a piano. I had been checking out all the music stores, it seemed, Always and Forever.

Enter Terry Stowe, The Piano Man. As I passed his store, I wondered, “How Much is that Piano in the Window?”

So I went in. Terry almost sold me on one of his shiny black uprights, but I’m ashamed to admit I decided to get a piano Somewhere Out There. But he stayed friendly. Every time I came in to his store, Terry would say Hello.

He’d tell me I should buy one of his grand pianos, and I’d say, “That’ll be the Day.”

I couldn’t really fault Terry for teasing me. He could see that every time I, this Brown-eyed Girl, walked into his store, the pianos and music sheets Bewitched me. Like a Hound Dog on the hunt, he could sniff out that music is one of My Favorite Things.

And I do love music. I mean, Where Do I Begin? Ever since I was Born Free, music has always been my shelter from Stormy Weather. My dad lulled me to sleep under the Blue Moon while telling me to Count Your Blessings. He taught me to Whistle While You Work. I really wanted to play the piano, but since we couldn’t afford it, I could only Dream On.

And then, one day, after I married and when my oldest was 7, I finally did it My Way. I told my husband, could we please have a piano, adding that it was “All I Ask of You.” Fortunately, he agreed. When a Man Loves a Woman, he says yes.

Today, music can still Light My Fire. There’s nothing like playing the piano or guitar after A Hard Day’s Night. It soothes my nerves and makes me feel that Tomorrow, I can Climb Ev’ry Mountain.

Stowe Family Music’s exit might leave us wondering, How Do You Keep the Music Playing? My answer: Don’t Worry, Be Happy.

Music plays on in my children’s lives, and in your children’s lives, because the Stowes were Fearless and shared their love of music. Hopefully, Somewhere Down the Road, someone will be Ready to Take a Chance Again and open another music store.

Meanwhile, to Terry Stowe, Thank You For the Music.

Jewel Punzalan Allen is a long-time journalist and a memoir writing coach who lives in Grantsville. She blogs at

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