Springfield Music Inc. is rebranding nearly two years after an ownership change.
The 3100 S. Fremont Ave. store, along with a location each in Joplin, St. Louis and Kansas City, will carry the Ernie Williamson Music name, according to a news release. The name pays homage to Williamson, a drummer known for his love of music. Williamson started a music supply store in 1935 after struggling to find a replacement for a stolen drum.
“Ernie Williamson was the kind of musician we all aspire to be," said Donovan Bankhead, president and owner of Springfield-based Ernie Williamson Music. "He really embodied the love of music and the love of helping other people make music that is the core focus of each of our locations. We wanted to show our appreciation for him by using his name for all four stores."
Bankhead said via email he purchased Springfield Music from Lee Coats in September 2020. Springfield Music bought Joplin’s Ernie Williamson Music in 2002, Funky Munky Music in Shawnee, Kansas, in 2012, and Fazio’s Frets and Friends, near St. Louis, in 2013, according to Springfield Business Journal archives. Bankhead joined Springfield Music in 2002.
Prior to the rebranding effort announced this week, the Joplin and Kansas City stores already operated under the Ernie Williamson Music name, with the St. Louis store keeping its Fazio's moniker, according to the release.
An open house is scheduled 10 a.m. April 16 to celebrate the name change. The Ernie Williamson Music stores sell and rent instruments, provide repair services and offer musical lessons.
This is the fourth hangar at the Springfield-Branson National Airport for OzAir Charter Service.