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Flooded 9th Street2.jpg

Stores in the 300 block of 9th Street in Huntington were inundated by the 1937 flood. This photo shows Kibler Clothes, Kay Jewelers and the Kenney Music Co. Note the sign on the Kenney building advertising its “Removal Sale” as it readied its move to a new 3rd Avenue location.

Editor’s Note: This is the 419th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.

HUNTINGTON — For more than 60 years, Huntington area music lovers flocked to the Kenney Music Co.

The music store opened in 1918 at 331 9th St. Initially named the Shaw-Kenney store, it was later renamed the Kenney-Chaffin store.

In 1920, Jack Kenney and his wife, Alta Dennis Kenney, changed the name again, this time to simply the Kenney Music Co.

In 1937, Kenney Music was one of many downtown Huntington businesses inundated by that year’s record-setting Ohio River flood.

The following year the store moved to a new, larger home — a two-story brick building at 930 3rd Ave. that previously had housed a grocery store.

Kenney’s was where you went to shop for everything from sheet music and records to musical instruments of all types and sizes. The building had a large freight elevator at the back of the store that proved ideal for moving pianos, organs and other musical equipment between floors.

If you took piano lessons at the store and maybe arrived a bit early for your appointment, you could stand in the lobby and listen to the latest hit records playing over loud speakers the store set up outside for the benefit of passersby.

The 3rd Avenue building was remodeled in 1942 and ultimately was demolished during the urban renewal days of the 1970s. Forced to relocate, Kenney Music moved to a five-story building at 746 4th Ave. that had been built by Capitol Furniture Co.

At one time, Kenney’s was said to be the largest music store between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. According to records in the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office, the store went out of business in 1981.

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