Editor's Note: This is the 300th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.
HUNTINGTON - The Pied Piper music store was an important part of downtown Huntington and the regional music scene for 35 years.
Lawrence E. "Larry "Levine and his brother, Charles "Chuck" Sidney Levine, built a musical legacy from scratch.
They first opened the Pied Piper at 1035 4th Ave., in June of 1967.
In 1976, when the Huntington Urban Renewal Authority purchased and demolished their building to make way for a city-owned parking lot, the two brothers bought a triangular shaped piece of property at 3rd Avenue and Veterans Memorial Boulevard where they built a unique Tudor-style building. Their block-long building was a 15,000-square-foot music mall that housed everything from a super-sized showroom and a 150-person auditorium, to full car audio installation bays and even a fountain.
The brothers went on to open branch stores in the region. In 1991, the Pied Piper was ranked by Music Trends magazine as the nation's third largest full-line music store chain.
Perhaps part of that business success among music lovers was that both Larry and Chuck were professional musicians. They're remembered today for bringing to Huntington "Drums Across the Tri-State," a Drum Corps International show that ran here for a number of years.
The Pied Piper closed in 2002 when a new owner purchased their store's distinctive building. Today the building houses the local Morgan Stanley brokerage office.
Larry Levine died in 2002 and his brother Chuck in 2009.