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Tatum Music Co. proprietor talks serving East Texas since 1948 | Enterprise

The Tatum Music Firm story started when its doorways opened for enterprise on Aug. 15, 1948, on East Tyler Avenue in Longview.

The shop, which now has places at 325 E. Entrance St. in Tyler and 1501A S. Excessive St. in Longview, was opened by Alto Tatum, former director of the award-winning Gladewater Excessive College band. The Common, as Tatum was known as by his colleagues from him, started to name on college band packages in East Texas, decided to make use of his personal expertise from him as a band director to assist him meet the wants of space music educators.

The previous web site of West Melody Store, which had been owned and operated by the previous Longview Excessive College band director Wellborn West, was the unique location of Tatum Music Firm. West’s primary focus for the enterprise transitioned to band devices and repairs, and in January 1949, he employed GA Sailor to arrange the restore division at Tatum Music Firm.

A saxophone will get repaired at Tatum Music Firm on the Tyler location.

On the time, the closest retailers providing such companies had been in Shreveport, Dallas or Houston.

In 1955 the corporate moved to North Heart Avenue in Longview the place it remained till 1981.

Neil Grant, former award-winning band director at Troup, Nacogdoches, White Oak and Longview, joined the music retailer as a companion with Tatum and it turned Tatum Music Firm, Inc. in 1969.

Resulting from Tatum’s data and affect within the college band trade and rising success, he bought the previous Could’s Music Firm constructing to broaden to the Tyler space. In 1980, the Tyler retailer moved to its present on East Entrance Avenue.

In 2000 Alto Tatum retired from the shop leaving Neil Grant as sole proprietor and president of operations.

Grant’s eldest son, Doice Grant, a former band director from Carthage and Heart, joined the shop in 1992, as a faculty street consultant. In 2004, Grant turned half proprietor and vp of Tatum Music Firm, Inc. His father retired in 2010, leaving his son sole proprietor and president of Tatum Music Firm, Inc.


Authentic proprietor and founding father of Tatum Music Firm Alto Tatum stands for a photograph. Tatum opened the primary retailer location in Longview in 1948 and later expanded to Tyler.

Grant stated he knew from a younger age he would go on to personal and run the shop.

“I knew since I used to be within the fifth grade that I might sooner or later personal and function the shop,” he stated. “I’m a former band director and had labored right here from age 11 to 18 earlier than going off to school and acquiring a music diploma.”

Grant stated from the start, Tatum needed to give attention to the realm college bands, which is how Grant continues to run the enterprise.

“Tatum Music has served primarily the varsity’s band packages in East Texas for the final 74 years. We promote musical devices, provides, music, and restore musical devices,” Grant stated. “Our house owners and gross sales representatives, for 3 quarters of a century, have carried out band clinics freed from cost to our faculty bands.”

“Alto Tatum had a fantastic affect each as an educator and businessman. We’ve got not modified the philosophy of the shop that we based. We function on a really conservative enterprise foundation and provides our time and skills freed from cost to the faculties to provide again for his or her enterprise,” he added.


Guitars grasp on show at Tatum Music Firm in Tyler. The corporate at the moment serves greater than 100 college band packages.

Grant stated the shop has one of many largest and finest restore retailers within the nation, serving greater than 100 faculties.

“With out these service techs, bands would have a tough time current,” he stated.

Nevertheless, the service to the neighborhood does not cease there. The shop continues to provide again within the type of free clinics, scholarships, donations and extra.

“We’ve got given again to our neighborhood by performing free clinics as a ‘thanks’ for his or her enterprise. We’ve got additionally endowed a scholarship with (East Texas Communities Basis) for an instrumental music main to be awarded every year,” Grant stated. “We are also gifting away $100 per rental buy contract the start of subsequent yr to assist underprivileged youngsters to honor our seventy fifth yr in enterprise.”


Music books for various band devices can be found at Tatum Music Firm. The enterprise has a location in each Tyler and Longview.

Grant stated the giveaway is at the moment as much as over $50,000.

“The entire up to now is about $51,000 and will probably be given out beginning subsequent yr. My spouse and I believed this is able to be a well timed factor to do with the pandemic and inflation placing a fantastic hardship on children,” he stated. “We’ve got been fortunate for 74 years to have been supported by households who had fantastic help networks. This can be a option to get again to those you don’t.”

Tatum Music Firm, Inc. continues to have a constructive affect on the varsity band program enterprise by providing top-quality band devices, equipment and restore service in addition to complimentary band clinics by the educated Tatum Music Firm workers.

Tatum Music Firm, Inc. is situated at 325 East Entrance Avenue and might be reached at 903-595-4341.

For extra data, go to the Tatum Music Firm, Inc. web site.

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