Have you ever wanted to run a music store? If you love music, a great opportunity is now available in downtown Exmore. Ken and Mary Dufty have purchased a row of buildings on Main Street that included the (now empty) Custis Record Shop storefront. They are hoping to find an entrepreneur to open a Music Store in the central retail space.
Dufty told the Mirror, “There is no place on the Eastern Shore of Virginia where a musician or music lover can go to buy a guitar, banjo, violin, vinyl, amplifier, digital tuners, strings, picks, etc, etc. and the old Custis Record Shop is an ideal place for that endeavor. Our rent will be extremely low, we will: share all of our sources to buy instruments wholesale; assist in outreach and advertising; and, do everything possible to support an entrepreneur who is willing to hop on board.”
Call Ken or Mary at 757-442-7889 (leave a message) or text our cell at 518-526-3270.
History Notes about the shop: In 1955, Winston “Dynamite” Custis, Sr. opened the Custis Record Shop on Main Street in Exmore, Virginia. Far more than a shop dealing vinyl, the small shop became a Voice of Music dealer offering stereo equipment, auto sound systems, turntables, amps, sheet music and anything and everything else related. Later, as the Dynamite Custis record shop outgrew its roots, the business moved to a Main Street complex including 2380-3286 Main Street and enjoyed a vibrant business in the newer storefront at 3282 in the middle of a busy retail shopping district.
Dynamite’s son, Winston, Jr. eventually took over the Custis Record Shop, closing it in 1978 as the big box stores pushed the smaller record/stereo equipment shops to the brink. Beginning in the early 1970’s one of the more famous musicians to frequent the Custis shop was Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup (pronounced “crew-dup). As many know, Arthur worked the fields on the Eastern Shore during the day and pursued his music career when he wasn’t planting or harvesting. Arthur caught the bus every weekday morning at Lloyd’s Drug Store across the street from the Custis Record Shop, and he and Winston fast became friends. Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup wrote songs for many recording artists, including Elvis Presley who he performed with on more than one occasion. He is known nationally for being the “father of Rock and Roll”, and his energy is embedded in the now-empty storefront, to this very day. It is palpable.
Fast forward to 2008 when Mary and I purchased an old tile business building just down the street (Bank Street) from the Custis Record Shop on Main Street. We are just entering our 15th year in business in the wonderful Town of Exmore and have no plans to stop doing that in the foreseeable future (if the spirit world allows!). We sell vintage, antique and even contemporary quality furniture at very affordable prices…and you won’t find pieces made of glue, sawdust and contact paper on our floor. But one thing we quickly learned was that there was- and is- a great demand for musical instruments including strings, woodwinds, brass, and anything else. Our experience was that any guitar, banjo, mandolin, sax, uke, clarinet or the like that we offered in our shop never lasted more than a few days, and we had a hard time keeping them in stock…even when we were buying cases of Rogue or Johnson guitars and Palatino violins. But keeping up with that demand was too much of a distraction from our main focus of selling affordable and unique furniture and other accessories.