Sixty years ago, Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center opened its doors. It was 1958, and Chuck and Marge Levin found themselves in the music business, “a happy business” as Chuck always put it. For 10 years we were a part of the D.C. Community, spreading the love of music and getting instruments into the hands of as many people as possible. The D.C. Riots of 1968 reduced the city, and our store to rubble. We were left with only memories and an unwavering desire to carry on.
With the support of the D.C. Community, and the support of our extended musical family, Chuck Levin's re-opened in Wheaton, MD just outside the city, only five months later. Fifty years have passed since then and our company has grown into a family of over 100 people. Together we have put over a million instruments into hands of musicians all over the globe. We couldn’t have done it without you, and we want to know your stories!
Please share in our 60th Anniversary Celebration and help us kick off the next 60 years!
In celebration of our 60th Anniversary, we are looking to create an archive of some of your best “Chuck’s Stories" of the last 60 years. To make things more interesting we are making this a contest.
Please take a moment to answer some questions about your experiences at Chuck's. Ten winners will be chosen at random to each receive a $100 Gift Card.
All entrants must consent to have their story published on our website, social media channels and used as promotional materials.
If you choose to let us contact you for follow up we may invite you to the store to have your story filmed for a special event later this year.
School or Chuck's?
I remember back in the mid 70s when my friends and I would skip school and drive up to Chuck's to window shop. We bought guitars, strings, pickups, picks, straps and effects along the line, but to go and see every guitar in every maker's line was hypnotic.
I remember Mr. Levin sitting on his stool watching all of us come and go when he didn't have his head in his books. He knew what we were about and always smiled.
I was a wet-behind-the-ears middle school bandsman when I first discovered "Chuck's" in Wheaton in the early 70s. I traveled there with my father to buy my first euphonium, and we spent an entire afternoon trying all sorts of new and used horns, under Mr. Levin's wonderful tutelage, until we found just the right one. I learned everything he could teach me about tonality, timbre, pitch, and brass quality - you name it!
The deal was fantastic, the service was exceptional, and even when I needed subsequent repairs, Mr. Levin always took great care of us. He would greet me - by name! - whenever I walked into the place, and always had time to ask about my father, my family, and my career.
I live in New England now, but I still buy my musical instruments from Chuck's (most recently a Kawai MP 9500 for my girls). Though there are fine music stores here, none of them have matched the price, quality, service, or wonderful personal attention I received from Mr. Levin. His was a legendary reputation well earned, and musicians everywhere will sorely miss him.
30 years of great service!
I bought my first Bach Stradivarius in 1976 from Chuck. I have never bought another instrument anywhere else, nor do I plan to!! Thanks so much to the whole Levin family.
As a former member of my high school band, I gave music a great deal of credit for my success in the data processing field. I decided to help some of the inner city junior high schools in Mississippi.
One day while shopping at WM, I met Chuck. I told him what I was doing and he said "follow me". He gave me a used trombone and an alto sax. I have purchased over 100 instruments from WM in the last few years. His generosity inspired me to be more generous.
There are many kids who could not have ever afforded an instrument playing today. He never wanted any credit but I can give it to him now. Thanks from hundreds of kids in Mississippi.
I have been an audio-video specialist since 1968. During a conversation that I was having with Mr. Levin (over 40 years ago!) I mentioned that I was in the process of setting up my own business and was having some problems. He had Alan and Marge take me down to his attorney and set up everything for me. He then set me up with my first project. To just say that he was my mentor would grossly understate the on-going impact that he has had on my life. I personally have never met anyone else quite like him. He will live eternally in my heart. All of the Levins are the greatest people that I have ever known.