You only have to visit a handful of locally owned and operated music stores in Las Cruces — and there are more throughout the region — to find it all: instruments of every kind for sale and rent, all the accessories and equipment to go with them, repairs, sound-system installation, along with friendly service and helpful advice no matter what you are looking for. You’ll also hear some great stories from long-time musicians who share an incredible knowledge and love of music.
White’s Music Box
White’s Music Box has a Las Cruces history going back 73 years. Regional record salesman Mark Wechter opened the Music Box as a record store in 1948. Mike White went to work for Mark (who happens to be Mike’s father-in-law) in 1967 and bought the business in 1983. It’s one of the oldest locally owned retail stores in Las Cruces, and the oldest music store in the Las Cruces-El Paso area, Mike said.
Mike and his staff, Don Entsmiger, Paula Faulkner, Alex DeHaro, and repair technicians Joe Aguirre and Frank Espinoza, have more than 150 years combined experience in nearly every aspect of the music business. Frank and Joe have been repairing musical instruments since the 1970s and probably have the only repair shop in the country with a view of a Main Street.
Mike opened a second store in El Paso in 1986, and he and Don provide instrument rentals to public school students throughout southwest New Mexico and West Texas. A native of Boston, Mike White came to New Mexico State University (NMSU) on a music scholarship and never left Las Cruces. A bassoon and clarinet player, he was band director at Alameda Junior High School before going to work at the Music Box. Mike also worked with Las Cruces music legends John Schutz and Dr. William Clark to create Las Cruces’ first community band, along with the Southwest Honor Band, New Horizons Band, and the Las Cruces Middle School Honor Band.
White’s Music Box’s 8,500 square feet includes a teaching studio and practice rooms for all levels of music students.
Mike said the success of his music business is based on “the personal relationships that we’ve built over the years with music makers and music teachers. People come in and we take good care of them.” He likes being located downtown because “it’s neutral territory between all of the schools. It’s the heart of Las Cruces.”
White’s Music Box in Las Cruces is located at 200 S. Main St., open 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Monday – Saturday, and in El Paso at 7040-M N. Mesa St. in Colony Cove Center, open Monday – Saturday. You can contact them at 575-526-6677 and 800-287-6679, email [email protected], or visit them online at whitesmusicbox.com.
Pierce “Pops” Hubbard bought Melody Music in the Loretto Towne Centre in 1979, hiring his son Dru, then a high school student, to work with him in the store. After Pops’ death in 2006, Dru moved Hubbard’s Music-N-More to 108 Wyatt Drive from its second location on Foster Road, expanding to 5,700 square feet and adding instrument sales and repair and the design, installation, and repair of sound systems of every size and description. Hubbard’s rehearsal space was home to the Las Cruces Ukes until the club’s Thursday-night rehearsals grew from a handful of people to nearly 30, and they finally outgrew the space, Dru said.
“I think we’ve got the best guys in town working here,” Dru said of his staff, which includes Thomas Graham, Jason Reed, Tim Gay, Will Sadler, and Leah Harvey. Everyone at Hubbard’s “still plays professionally and records,” Dru said. “We’re out there. We go out and support our customers that support us.”
Hubbard’s Music has designed and installed sound systems for everything from one-room churches, to the Pan American Center and Corbett Center on the NMSU campus, to the Deming High School football stadium.
A long-time drummer, Dru has played in a number of rock bands in the area for the past 40-plus years. His mother, Barbara (dubbed “Mother” Hubbard by comedian Bob Hope), was NMSU’s director of special events for more than 20 years.
Barbara is a frequent visitor to the music store, along with many of Dru’s long-time customers who remember stopping by when they were students at Las Cruces High School and Hubbard’s Music was located on Foster Road. Dru let them play on the instruments in the store, and he still gets thanked for that so many years later.
“You don’t know what that meant to us,” Dru said they tell him. “That’s what made us fall in love with music.” “That’s what makes life so much fun,” he added. “It’s a family business. You gotta keep the ‘mom and pops’ alive.”
Contact Hubbard’s Music-N-More at 575-526-8884, 1-877-379-8815, and [email protected], or visit hubbardsmusic-n-more.com. Hubbard’s Music is open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday.
Larry Rulmyr opened Mountain Music, 2400 S. Valley Drive, in January 1986.
A native of Duluth, Minnesota, Larry came to Las Cruces after serving in the United States military. A bass guitar player, he started his first country band in 1974 and figures he has played about 3,000 nights at “a ton of clubs” throughout the region.
A lot of memories surround him at Mountain Music, along with new instruments and some unique and vintage instruments. Larry also does consignment sales (find him on reverb.com and craigslist) and trade-ins.
If you’re not sure what instrument you’re looking for, ask Larry about his “look, feel, sound, and price” system. He will also tell you that learning to play an instrument is a matter of “desire, patience, and effort.”
Also ask Larry to show you his 1921 cash register, which still works. You won’t find a cell phone or a computer in the store. Musician and computer composer Eric Johnson and Mick Box of Uriah Heep are among the most famous visitors to Mountain Music, which Larry named for the Organ Mountains. You’ll find a lot of musicians’ photos on the walls, along with music posters and other memorabilia. “It’s the last of the old-time music stores,” Larry said.
The store was originally located on the downtown mall, then on Solano Drive before its present location on Valley Drive in 2008.
“I wake up every morning and can’t wait to get here,” Larry said. “I just love it. It doesn’t get any better than this.”
His motto has always been, “Be nice and be helpful to people,” Larry said, and keep your business based on people instead of money.
Contact Mountain Music at 575-523-0603 and visit them on Facebook. The store is open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday. And you will almost always find Larry there.
Another music store you’ll want to visit is Mesilla Valley Pro Music, 919 N. Valley Drive, which opened in 1976. They offer instruments, sound equipment, and friendly assistance. (They also get huge thanks for rescuing our publisher’s stolen ukulele!) Call 575-526-8777 and visit them online at mvpromusic.com. Hours are 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday.
Lobato’s Music Store, 116 S. Silver Ave. (575-544-4501)
Larry’s Pawn and Music, 926 E. Pine St. (575-546-9442)
Perrault Music Co., 212 E. 12th St. (575-590-7776)
Bedroom & Guitar Shoppe, 910 N. Hudson St. (575-388-5555)
Music Express, 315 S. Hudson St. (575-388-9405).
Check out Cool Pines Music, 1109 Mechem Dr. (575-258-0091).
Olivas Music, 125 Thunderbird Drive (915-833-0346)
Symphony Strings Music Co., 7355 Remcon Circle #101 (915-581-7505)
V & V Music Co., 1855 Trawood Drive #204 (915-494-7887)
Danny´s Music, 6130 Montana Ave. #116, (915-407-6414)
Guitar Center, 6440 Gateway Blvd. East #100, (915-867-5309)
Hero Music, 1700 N. Zaragoza Road Suite 152, (915-304-0784)
Bertie’s Music, 1550 N. Zaragoza Road #a-105, (915-591-1751)
Strings N Things Music, 10568 Montana Ave. (915-629-9004)
Several other locations of the Guitar Center (915-775-3900).
Written and photography by Mike Cook
Originally published in Neighbors magazine
Posted by LasCruces.com