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C & B tunes into West Knox musicians

C & B Music Instruments and Accessories, located in Canton Place Shopping Center on the corner of Kingston Pike and Lovell Road, would like the local residents to think of them as their small-town music store in the heart of West Knox County.

Owned by Oliver Springs natives Eric Coker and Chris Beasley, the Canton Place location is the second C & B music store. The original store, in Oliver Springs, has been in business for more than three years. Coker said he saw a void in the music store business in West Knoxville and thought it would be a good place to open one.

“I always wanted to own a business in Knoxville,” he said. “I would like to move a little further west eventually, and actually be in Farragut.”

C & B caters its business toward the beginner, amateur musician. They carry a full line of acoustic and electric guitars and brand names such as Schecter and Blue Ridge.

Coker said they carry fractional guitars, which are instruments that are fit proportionally to a young student.

“We have a guitar here that could be played by someone as young as five-years-old,” he said. “You can get a decent guitar here for ninety nine dollars.”

C & B also repairs most instruments and re-string guitars. They have an arrangement with Allied Music Instructors in Farragut where all music students get a 15 percent discount on any purchases.

“It is a nice situation,” Coker said. “Allied recommends us to their students because of the discount and we do the same for them when someone buys an instrument and needs music lessons.”

Accessories such as guitar straps, cleaning tools and carrying cases line the walls at C & B, as does sheet music and CDs of musical talent from Farragut, Oak Ridge and Oliver Springs. They stock shoes for students in marching bands and will sell used instruments on a “sort of” consignment basis.

“We have a better deal than a consignment,” Coker said. “I ask the customer what price they would like to get for the instrument and rather than taking twenty-five percent of what they make, I just go a little bit over what the customer wants to get and that way they get their price and I am not over-charging for the instrument.”

Coker said the store had a “really good” Christmas; selling out of most instruments, but they are planning to increase their inventory soon carrying more than a full line of instruments.

Coker and Beasley also produce music festivals, providing the stage and sound system as well as set-up and breakdown of the concerts.

C & B are making good customer service a high priority on their list of things to do in 2005. Noting that he worked in a hardware store in Oliver Springs for 15 years and considering the size of the town (3,500 people), Coker said, he learned to treat his customers well because those customers were his business.

“No matter what kind of business you have, there is no reason for a customer to leave not satisfied with the service.”


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