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Music stores

Music stores well instruments and sheet music for customers, and serve as a meeting place for musicians.

Piano and guitar teacher Mary Curran Leighton (1885-1972) and her spouse, Clifford Leighton, ran a music store in Portland where they sold instruments and provided music lessons to students. In the 1930s, Mary Curran Leighton specialized in “Hawaiian guitar” another name for lap steel guitar.

Bull Moose Music
By Chris Brown, CFO Bull Moose

Bull Moose
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Bowdoin College junior Brett Wickard founded Bull Moose Music in 1989. The original Brunswick Bull Moose Music location only carried CDs and cassettes. Bull Moose is now one of the nation's largest sellers of music, movies, games, and books with eleven retail locations in Maine and New Hampshire and a very popular website.

Bull Moose has always worked closely with local musicians and venues, adding millions of dollars directly into the local music economy. Many Maine musicians who went on to regional or national success sold their first CD at Bull Moose.

Many prominent musicians and celebrities have done events at Bull Moose, including Rihanna, John Densmore, Bonnie Raitt, Jack Black, Grace Potter, Keifer Sutherland, Sharon Jones, Graham Nash, Wilco, Barenaked Ladies, Limp Bizkit, Against Me!, Imagine Dragons, Soweto Gospel Choir, Disturbed, Smashing Pumpkins, Chvrches, Tim Sample, and Chelsea Cutler.

In 2007 long-time Bull Moose employee Chris Brown proposed that independent music stores create their own holiday, Record Store Day, which is celebrated twice a year by thousands of record stores worldwide. Record Store Day helped drive the resurgence of vinyl and increased US music sales to more than a billion dollars annually.

Another Bull Moose innovation was the Live at Bull Moose series, for which live albums were recorded at Bull Moose. The series included Regina Spektor, Ani DiFranco, The Decemberists, and Mumford & Sons.

Brett Wickard sold 100% of Bull Moose to the employees in 2022, promoting Vice President of Operations Shawn D. Nichols to President and CEO.