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Amro Music Stores

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Amro Music Stores
Founded 📆
Founder 👔
Headquarters 🏙️Memphis, Tennessee
Areas served 🗺️
Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky and Arkansas
Number of employees
🌐 Website[Lua error in Module:WikidataIB at line 665: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value). ] 
📇 Address
📞 telephone

Amro Music Stores, Inc. is a company owning several music store in Memphis, TN. Founded in 1921, Amro Music offers band instruments, orchestral instruments, pianos, print music, and instrument repair services.

The company was founded as a piano lesson studio and gradually shifted towards instrument sales and services. Today, Amro is among the Top 100 Music Retailers in the US.[1]



Article featuring Amro

It was founded in 1921 at 166 S. Main Street in Memphis, then known as Amro Studios.[2] During a layover in Memphis en route to Los Angeles, founder Mil Averwater and a friend found where they wanted to open a store on Main Street. I October 1921 Amro Studios opened on the second floor at 166 South Main, then cobblestoned and traveled by streetcars and early model Fords. The name Amro came from a combination of initials and musical terms.[3] In the early days, the company focused strictly on piano lessons, taught by Averwater and another teacher who had both studied piano in Cincinnati. At that time, the lesson business was slow, but the pair were tireless promoters and would often play piano with the windows open to attract the attention of people passing by. When people walked in to see what where the music was coming from, they were invited to take lessons.[4] As enrollment increased, several teachers were added to help instruct on other instruments, such as guitar, banjo, and saxophone.[5]

Amro main store

Radio came to Memphis in January 1923 with the opening of WMC. Averwater played the piano and arranged talent for the live broadcasts. Newspaper stories recalled his performances of then-favorites like "If You Don't Believe I Love You, Look What a Fool I've Been", "Aggravatin' Papa," and "Hoptown Chinatown Hop." [6] Amro eventually expanded to the sale of instruments, first as an accommodation to students. As school bands' popularity grew, Amro introduced an instrument trial rental plan. Averwater and others from the firm traveled the then-gravel roads of Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri visiting schools.

In 1960, a branch store was opened on the corner of Poplar and Highland in what was later known as Dillard Square. A few years later, another branch store was opened in Whitehaven. By 1968, Amro was a full-line music store carrying pianos, organs, guitars, drums, school band instruments, keyboards, and print music.

In 1981, the main location was moved from downtown to its present location on 2918 Poplar Avenue.[3] In 1997, Amro Music's completion of a $1.1 million superstore at Poplar Avenue was featured on the front page of the Memphis Daily News.[7] Famous customers include Elvis, BB King, and John Mayer.[4]


As of 2010, it targeted high school bands in six states as customers.[8] In 2012, Google enabled a virtual tour of Amro Music with its Street View feature.[9] By 2013, Amro had been placed in the Top 200 Music Retailers in the Country.[1] In 2015, Amro Music Stores was based in Memphis and was the largest school music dealer in the mid-South.[10] In 2016, it purchased additional real estate in Memphis near its Poplar Avenue store.[11] In 2018, it had 55 staff for AMRO Music Stores, which supplies in the Memphis area, and well as Nashville.[12] At the 2018 Small Business Awards by Memphis Business Journal, it was a finalist in the large category.[13] It had also been listed as a finalist at the MBJ Small Business Awards in 2001.[14]


It has a distinct band and orchestra instruments and supplies division, and another for pianos and organs. It also has a repair shop.[15]


Honor band[edit]

Each year, around 100 students from Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky and Arkansas are selected for the Amro Music MidSouth Honor Band.[10]


Amro played a role in the development and ongoing operations of Play It Again Memphis, a non-profit organization that takes unused, donated band instruments and prepares them to be loaned to individuals that can not afford to purchase or rent instruments.[citation needed]


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Music Trades.
  2. Meek, Andy (2013), Amro Milestone Attributed to Seasoned Staff, Memphis Daily News
  3. 3.0 3.1 Various. (2002). "A History of Amro", Amro Manual, Memphis TN.
  4. 4.0 4.1 School Music Dealer, Fall 2009, "Amro Music Dealer Profile". Windplayer Publications
  5. History of Amro Music,
  6. Commercial Appeal Articles from the 1920s and 1930s. Memphis, TN
  7. March 24-30, 2017: This week in Memphis history, Memphis Daily News, March 25, 2017
  8. Sheffield, Christopher (April 11, 2010), Strike up the band, Memphis Business Journal
  9. Meek, Andy (December 7, 2012), Google Enables Virtual Tour of Amro Music, Memphis Daily News
  10. 10.0 10.1 Van Dusen, Ray (April 28, 2015), Two Hamilton students selected for Amro Music Honor Band, Monroe Journal
  11. Nichols, Meagan (September 20, 2016), Amro buys Agape building, Memphis Business Journal
  12. Meet MBJ's 2018 Small Business Awards finalists: Large category, Memphis Business Journal, May 14, 2018
  13. SBA 2018 finalist video spotlight: AMRO Music Stores Inc., Memphis Business Journal, June 6, 2018
  14. Perkins, Tommy (January 21, 2001), Finalists named for MBJ Small Business Awards, Daily Journal
  15. Arnold, Ed (2016), In Memphis, music stays in the family (Video), Memphis Business Journal

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