Rayburns Music, Boston, my early years

Subject: Clarinet Corner Query:Emilio Lyons

This isn’t anything of substance — I just had to drop a line, because I read your reference to Emilio Lyons on the site just minutes after leaving my clarinet with him. He’s alive and well — a terrific man and a pleasure to do business with. Many many people here in Boston can’t imagine Rayburn’s without him.

Rayburn’s itself has moved across the street from its location around the corner from Symphony Hall — it gave me a shock at first to see the old storefront empty!

Perhaps nothing of substance to you, but it is my entire adolescence, in that I took many lessons in Rayburns prior to Emilio arriving, used to deal and work for Ray himself and played gigs with his father, Sy who had been the”bolero” drummer with the Boston Symphony, and used to get free reeds from mrs sternburg whenever I went in on Friday for my 5 boxes which I used to go through prior to my saturday morning lesson with Rosario, and that is when there were 25 in a box and they were 3.75 a bx. She used to give them to me for nothing, bless her soul. Simon Sternburg was also a chemist and made valve oil in the back, ….Revelation Valve oil was made by him, true, I swear it.
And I put up the shelves for the sheet music in the back , me and a the french horn player Dick Greenfield, very talented guy, hope he is still with us.
So Ray used to play the marching band job every now and again and prided himself on being a lousy trumpet player. I last talked to him on the phone when he was 83 and living in Florida, but that was about 10–12 years ago.
So, I was there when Emilio started work, and had many dealings with him, so long ago that he was just learning repair, at which I guess he is world reknown now. The kind of reparation by Emilio and the others in Boston was incredible, and you have to leave there to really understand that.
They used to have my picture up in the back (I was a selmer clinician for 30 years) and then everybody in Boston played Selmer, because everybody in the orchestra played them
So, it means much of consequence to me, M, and I thank you for sending it. And I will never believe that they moved, unbelievable. It remains for me the greatest music store, always will be. Please give Emilio my fondest regards.

best, Sherman


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