Chuck & Marge Levin were icons in the music industry. Not because they wowed stadiums full of fans or because they impressed audiences with moving concertos, but because they earned a reputation as one of the leading musical instrument retailers in North America for more than 50 years. Chuck was a unique kind of guy. He had a passion for connecting people - from novices who play for fun to professional musicians - with the very best instruments at the very best prices. Chuck knew that musicians didn’t just use their instruments as tools, but in many cases developed an emotional bond with their guitar, their tuba, or their drum kit.
Chuck & Marge Levin opened their first shop at 12th and H Street in downtown Washington D.C. in 1958. It wasn’t long before the store earned a reputation as a must-visit destination for any serious musician passing through the nation’s capital. Chuck and Marge’s reputation grew quickly in the early days of the store, and by 1960, Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center became known as a place of honest opinions, reliable advice, and huge inventory.
By forming strong partnerships with the biggest names in the music industry, Chuck and Marge were able to maintain a huge selection of instruments and equipment. And by forming strong relationships with their customers, they had an enormous impact of the lives of musicians in the D.C. and beyond. To this day we have customers mention fond memories of our first store, and of Chuck and Marge.
WITH EVERY END, COMES A NEW BEGINNING
H Street Location Burns
In April 1968 as riots tore through D.C. following the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the original store was destroyed in a fire. The Levin family made it out safely, but the store and all of its contents were lost in the flames.
THE MOVE TO WHEATON, MD
The music community, both local and national, were determined to keep Chuck’s alive, and with their help the store was reopened just four months later at its new and current location on Veirs Mill Road in Wheaton, MD.
The modest mom and pop shop became a D.C. institution. No musician could pass through D.C. without a stop at Chuck’s, and the store gained prominence as the industry’s top independent music store.
"Robert Levin and Stevie Wonder"
A FAMILY OPERATION
Chuck’s is a true family operation, and a great deal of our success is directly attributed to the close working relationship of this family. Following the passing of Chuck and Marge, their two sons Alan and Robert, and daughter Abbe, took over stewardship of the company.
PRAISE AND AWARDS
Chuck’s continued to grow and prosper continuously each every year since its inception, winning top sales awards from several of the biggest manufacturers and publications in the music industry.
GROWING OUR FAMILY
The Levin family has adopted its fair share of employees over the years, making it one of the most unique places to work. Alan Levin continues to proclaim that “our employees are family,” and the evidence is everywhere. The average tenure for our sales staff is more than 10 years, and in a sales environment that is no small feat. Through our continued commitment to our customers and to supporting music around the globe, we’ve extended the Levin family far beyond the borders of our walls.
What’s next for Chuck Levin’s? Just like Chuck and Marge did, we continue to adapt to meet our customers’ needs. We will continue to grow our online business as we serve our local music community through our legendary brick and mortar shop. To sum it up, our future is you! No matter how you shop with us, we’ll always treat you like family. We are always happy to help and will give you a fair deal. If you’re online and have a question, our Experts are just a phone call, chat, text, or email away! And if you’re in the D.C. area, stop by and see our legendary store!