McClurg Jam

McClurg Jam

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Jim Curley (of Mountain Music Shoppe fame)

Just a brief note that I just discovered that Jim Curley is rebuilding his life in Ohio. He has remarried. If your like me, you must have wondered what happened to him. Now we know. Seems like there are many others locally that know as well but word had not gotten to me.

Jim, if you read this, we miss you and the old Store but things are what they are. I am glad to hear your doing well now.

As you may know, Jim was the owner of the Mountain Music Shoppe in Shawnee that was forced out of business by the State of Kansas about two years ago.

That hole has never been filled and only gets bigger.


I was not a close personal friend of Jim's. When the State took the store some folks viewed him a tad harshly over this. Most felt very badly and knew that this was a tragedy for the community.

I can tell you that Jim had his hands full and given the challenges on his plate, he probably did as well as could be done. Probably not perfect but who does that?!

What he accomplished was pretty good for the years he was able to have the store. I have never run across a better music store in all my travels. I know there are some out there but certainly not in Kansas City. It's sad to see what is in the old space now. I visited once. I won't go back. If you want to see the "good" guitars there, you have to have an employee escort you into the locked room. No Martins or anything close to good there. I call it a joke myself.

I bought five guitars from Jim. Two cheapies not worth mentioning and three Martins. Without Jim's good deals I would have had a much harder time getting them.
I had in this order, a DM, D-16GT, D-18VS.

I bought my John Hartford CD's there. I also found the "Traditional Ozark Fiddle" Series CD's there. These were important milestones on my musical journey. Mountain Music Shoppe significantly changed my life, to be honest about it. Or helped me change it.

Life is change after all. Sadly, this chapter is over for Jim and our community. New things will come. Right now the void is not filled.

For some years something wonderful was at work among us.


  1. Very sad indeed. According to the news story, Jim had a deal with the Feds and was abiding by it, but the seized his store anyway.

    I'm a banjo player from Washington DC and have traveled all over the U.S. I agree with your assessment that the Mountain Music Shoppe was one of the best places to play (and teach) acoustic music in the country.

  2. I fell in love with hammer dulcimer music a long time ago when I heard John Corbin play at Silver Dollar City. When I finally decided to try and learn to play the dulcimer myself, I was delighted to find Jim's shop. I bought my dulcimer there, took lessons there, and bought all kinds of great bluegrass tapes and CD's there. I had no idea what a great store it was until we lost it forever. The writer of this blog is absolutely correct about a void having been created that is only getting bigger. There is nothing in the greater Kansas City area that offers what Jim's shop did. All of it, and Jim, are truly missed.


English only. Spam comments are deleted.