When moved to its current location in west downtown Dearborn, the year was 1959. Then owned by the father of current proprietor Rick LeAnnais, the music industry–and the city of Dearborn–were very different than they are today.
And so, like the switch from records to tapes to CDs to digital, Dearborn Music is changing, too: By this fall, if all goes as expected, the store will have a new home. Albeit, they're only moving three blocks west to the old Pier One store on Newman Street, but the decision was still a tough one.
"It really is a difficult decision," LeAnnais said. "The big factor is that the business keeps evolving."
Currently, Dearborn Music sits in a 6,500-square-foot space carved out of four parcels on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Monroe Street. It's a historic space, but not always a practical one.
"We have 2,000 square feet for stock, and we no longer need that," LeAnnais said, explaining that in the 1980s and '90s, record stores had to stock up on inventory. These days, they get what they need, when they need it.
Adding to that are difficulties the store has had with landlord Hakim Fakhoury, a well-known businessman in Dearborn who owns numerous properties in west downtown.
Of that, LeAnnais said: "There have been difficulties with the landlord. It's not uncommon."
And like Dearborn Music's home for the past six decades (though the business was officially started in 1943), LeAnnais admits that the business's new, smaller space–which they have been scoping out since last fall–is not without faults, either.
"Our new location is not going to have that charm," he said, citing the Monroe Street building's historic significance.
And LeAnnais admits that the move is "scary."
"You're leaving a spot where you've been for 50 years," he said. "It because and institution where everyone knows where you are. Six months from now, someone might come to Dearborn and ask, 'Where did they go?'"
But the benefits far outweigh any drawbacks, and in an industry where independent stores close every year, it's about surviving and thriving.
LeAnnais divulged that the new store, while smaller, will not lose any floor space, or any inventory.
"We're not taking any music out of the store," he said.
Moreover, while paid parking didn't influence LeAnnais to leave his current spot, the free parking on Newman Street is "an added feature."
But perhaps the biggest motivation for where Dearborn Music is moving to is that they really didn't want to move at all–at least not out of their namesake city.
"We wanted to stay in Dearborn," LeAnnais said. "To pick up and leave Dearborn would be a terrible mistake."
Correction: This article originally stated that Dearborn Music has been in the same location for 60 years. That is incorrect. They have been there 53 years.