Since 1951, the name "Freehold Music Center" has evoked visions of musical greatness. From rows of guitars and amps and drum sets, to an exhaustive sheet music library, to private rooms for lessons and jam sessions. Magical musical memories were made there. And musicians in Freehold, Monmouth County, and beyond started a career or a lifelong hobby there.

Unfortunately, the legendary music shop will soon play its final coda. The Freehold Music Center Musical Instrument Dept announced on Facebook that they will be closing its door for good on Feb. 29.

Their current location at 3681 Route 9 in Freehold is just a few doors down from their longtime storefront in the Freehold Mall shopping center. (Not to be confused with Freehold Raceway Mall, just up the highway.)

According to their website, it "features over 9,000 square feet of Guitars, Basses, PA equipment and speakers, amplifiers, keyboards, and the region's largest music book and sheet music departments. The lesson studio features 12 rooms with a large staff of dedicated teachers that teach a wide range of musical instruments."

The Freehold Music Center storefront as of 2020. (Google Street View)
The Freehold Music Center storefront as of 2020. (Google Street View)

Over the years, Freehold Music Center has suffered setbacks, including a relocation and downsizing several years ago. The business and its owner, Michael Diehl, are especially well known for getting stiffed tens of thousands of dollars by the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City in the 1990s.

No reason was given for the imminent closure.

There are a few pieces of good news to report though. The store has begun a huge liquidation event, promising "everything left in the store is on sale".

Also, only the musical instrument shop and lesson studio is closing. The Freehold Music piano store, two miles up the road at 4237 Rt. 9 North is not shutting down. They are, in fact, promoting a "Not Going Out of Business" sale on their inventory of grand, upright, and digital players.

Still, the grand finale of Freehold Music Center is the end of an era. Feb 29 will truly be a "day the music died" in Freehold, New Jersey.

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Check out Dan's weather blog or follow him on Facebook for your latest weather forecast updates.

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