Glasgow’s oldest music shop closed its doors this week after a three-year battle to keep it open came to an end.
There has been concern over the future of the Bath Street business for several months amid continued speculation the McCormack family could be forced to close down the store or find a new owner because of a dramatic drop in trade.
Doors to the store were locked and phone calls were unanswered, while online customers were told: “Our website is currently unavailable.”
Last night industry sources confirmed the family had placed the business in administration as a result of mounting debts.
It is thought that attempts will be made to try to find a new buyer for what has become one of Scotland’s best-known music stores for those wanting anything from instruments to sheet music.
For generations, McCormack’s has supplied trumpets to cellos, pianos to violins, recorders to the latest electric guitars.
Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones came to the city in 1963 to officially open the new city centre store – but the doors had to be locked after fans besieged the store.
More recently, the likes of Kelly Jones of the Stereophonics, James Dean Bradfield from the Manic Street Preachers, Slipknot, Midge Ure, Joe Walsh from The Eagles, Tim Wheeler from Ash and actor Ewan McGregor, who is also a keen amateur guitarist, all made use of the store’s services.
McCormack’s Music is known to have been struggling financially for the last three years, during which time the family has hired a number of financial consultants to help them stave off closure. It is understood another consultant was only recently brought in to examine the business.
It was Neil McCormack – father of John McCormack, who now runs the business – that was the inspiration for McCormacks in 1937, arranging orchestrations for bands and dances, and teaching accordion.
The first shop was opened in Cowcaddens 1940, before moving to Bath Street in 1963.
John and brother James carried the business forward when their father – affectionately known as Neilly – suffered ill health. Both were also musicians – John played piano while his brother played trumpet.
John was also credited with being the first to recognise the commercial possibilities of the reel-to-reel tape recorder in the late 1950s when he brought them to Glasgow to sell to city bands. He was also a jazz pianist and appeared on Scottish Television’s One O’Clock Gang when regular pianist Peggy O’Keefe went on holiday.
Members of the McCormack family could not be contacted last night for comment.