Time to stop the music

By Mike Dinsdale

In the same week that UK music and entertainment giant HMV admitted defeat after 90 years in business, Whangarei's own iconic music shop Musicor announced it is closing after 46 years in the trade.

Musicor has been run by Whangarei identity Dave Ryan since it first opened downstairs in James St, opposite Tiffany's Cafe, in May 1967.

Mr Ryan said the decline in sales of CDs, coupled with the rise in people digitally downloading music over the internet, were partly behind the closure, which will happen in the next month or so.

While Musicor will close, Mr Ryan will stay involved in the music scene, booking live acts for the Onerahi Tavern and running an online hard-to-find music business. He also has a show on a local radio station.

In the 1970s he estimates there were up to 350 independent music stores in New Zealand, but that had dropped to about 12 in 2007 - with Musicor the oldest of them - and there were just a handful today.

This week, HMV suspended trading in its shares and called in administrators to salvage any viable parts of the business.

HMV is the last big retail chain selling recorded music in Britain and employs more than 4000 people working in 238 stores, which will remain open for the time being.

The company's management confirmed it had failed to gain agreements with lenders and suppliers to continue trading. It has appointed three partners of Deloitte to administer the business.

The name HMV stands for "His Master's Voice", from the company's trademark of a dog named Nipper staring intently at the bell of an early gramophone.

The first HMV music store was opened in London in 1921. In 1986, the company opened a store in Canada and later moved into the United States, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Read more on page B1 as Dave Ryan journeys back through Musicor's past.

- Northern Advocate

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