The founder of beloved record store Fredericton is remembered for his passion for and support of the local music scene.
Tony George, founder of Tony’s Music Box, was 86 years old.
The store announced his death on Wednesday in an online post, garnering dozens of comments from former customers about George’s impact on the music community.
“He has been a constant help to us for so many years. He always had an open ear, he always had good advice,” said Brent Staeben, director of the Harvest Music Festival.
Staeben said that George was a cheerleader in the local music scene. His greatest memories of George are of the support he gave, the advice he gave – even offering his shop as a meeting place.
“To find out about Tony’s death is such a huge loss to society,” Staeben said.
George opened the business in 1975 with his wife Rosemary.
According to Staeben, once opened, the store became the “epicenter” of the local music community.
“For many, many years it was the only record store, so we went there for everything,” he said.
“Every musician, from a young pianist looking for his books, from his piano teacher to band programs, and then professional performing musicians.”
Popular place for visiting musicians
He pointed to musicians like Rhode Island’s Duke Robillard and Matt Andersen visiting and even playing at Tony’s store.
He added that for visiting musicians and even Harvest headliners, it was almost a rite of passage into Tony’s music box.
George was also a musician himself, Staeben said, describing him as an incredible drummer whose love of music always showed on his face whenever he performed, including with his own band, the Tony George Jazz Quartet.
Tony’s music box is still family owned and run by two of Tony’s children: Michael George and Terry George.