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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Live Music In Stores

From 1880 until maybe still today in the finest stores, live musicians played in the central area of finer department stores, where men relaxed on comfortable couches while their wives shopped.  Does this note of elegance still occur?


When I was a young, pretty girl, walking through fine department stores for fun to see what wealthy people wore (which I knew I could never afford to buy), the musicians invariably played the Brazilian bossa nova "The Girl from Ipanema" or Frank Sinatra's romantic "Strangers In The Night".  As I mentioned in a previous post, I felt welcomed, approved, and embarrassed by this attention.  Then suddenly one day I was old, and when I walked through the department store musicians played "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" by Julie Covington, 1976.  Still, I appreciated that they played for me.  It made me feel somehow noble, tragically and uniquely aged.  Still fun.


I am so sorry for the coming generations who must endure oddly amped, impersonal Muzak.

Resonating With Department Store Music

animation and image by Annmarie Throckmorton, copyright 2024



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