Music store opens in Locust

Music has always played a key role in Ronnie Black’s life.

Growing up, the Oakboro native enjoyed listening to his grandfather and great-uncles play bluegrass. He and his brother Skip, inspired by rock music legends like Eddie Van Halen, KISS and Ozzy Osbourne, taught themselves how to play the guitar.

Black, his brother and a few friends even formed their own country band in the 1990s called Nowhere Bound. They served as the house band for the Palomino Club in Charlotte. Black said his band opened for the likes of Diamond Rio, Ricochet and Kenny Chesney.

Ronnie Black, who opened rBc Music Store in Locust last weekend, plays a tune. guitar.

It wasn’t until early last year when the prospect of opening his own music business first hit him.

Black, 53, was working for Auria Solutions at its Troy plant last January and was about to relocate to the Albemarle site when he read about a small, well-known wine shop closing in Pinehurst. He used to live in the village and knew of the shop.

His curiosity piqued, he decided he wanted to open a similar, family-run business in Stanly. As Black began imagining the possibilities, “the first thing that popped into my mind was what do you know more about than anything and that was music.”

It made sense: He knew of a lot of local bands and played with a lot of musicians over the years.

He discussed the idea of opening up a music store with his wife Christina, who gave him the green light.

Black envisioned his store being similar to the one he used to frequent in Charlotte called Reliable Music, where customers enjoyed visiting and talking with the employees, who were musicians themselves.

“I wanted something that made people enthusiastic when they came through the door,” he said.

Black traveled throughout the county, searching for the right spot for the business. He strategically decided on Locust, to take advantage of the growth.

“This seems like the biggest growing area” in the county, Black said, noting the small shops in the city remind him of similar ones in the Ballantyne neighborhood of Charlotte and in Matthews.

rBc Music Store is at 150 Ray Kennedy Dr. in Locust Town Center. It features an assortment of musical items including guitars, ukuleles, amps, drum sets, keyboards and pro audio equipment, along with smaller necessities like guitar strings and drumsticks. People can rent instruments and guitar and piano lessons are also available.

rBc Music Store features a wide assortment of musical instruments.

The new business is also partnering with Florida-based Veritas Instrument Rental Incorporated (VIR), a program that will allow the store to help high school musical departments throughout Stanly refurbish their instruments to help give back to the community.  

The grand opening for rBc (the name is derived from the initials of Ronnie and Christina Black) was last Saturday and featured a ribbon cutting with around 300 people in attendance. He sold several items that first day including a Takamine guitar. There was also a raffle featuring a Ludwing Heritage snare drum and a Takamine acoustic guitar.

A tribute to Black’s daughter

While he hopes rBc is a place where people can hang out and enjoy good music, Black wanted to open a business as a tribute to his late daughter Meagan, who died three years ago at 24 from a drug overdose. She loved music and would often play the guitar alongside her father in their church’s praise band, Black said.

After she passed, Black decided he wanted to do something to try and help other people struggling with addiction while at the same time honoring Meagan.

As he was preparing to open, Black said he wrestled with the idea of how he could “take a music store and use it for the good of helping the community.” He prayed about it and consulted others, including Christina.

After talking with community members and networking with various groups (he recently joined the West Stanly Rotary Club), Black plans to hold several events, such as benefit concerts and open mic nights, to raise money for organizations like Will’s Place and Bridge to Recovery to help people struggling with addiction.

Opening rBc Music Store makes Black think of his daughter and it makes him feel good.

“If she was still here, she’d be right here with me,” he said.

The store is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.