History

We're An Independent Music Store

How it all started...

CHUCK & MARGE LEVIN
Chuck Levin's H Street Photo

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 or tuba or drum kit—you name it.

AUGUST 1958 - THE STORE OPENS
Musical Instrument Retailer & Store

The Chuck Levin's story starts way back in 1958 when Chuck and his wife Marge Levin opened their first shop at 12th and H Streets in downtown Washington, D.C. (Marge allowed him put his name on the building, as she was always quick to point out!). It didn’t take long before the store earned a reputation as a must-visit destination for any serious musician passing through the nation’s capital. By 1960 Washington Music Center become an example of honest opinions, reliable advice, personal attention to detail, good will, and customer satisfaction matched with huge inventory and great prices.

OUR REPUTATION GROWS
William F Ludwig With Chuck And Marge

Chuck and Marge's reputation grew quickly in the early days of the store. By forming strong partnerships with the biggest names in the music industry they were able to impact many lives of the musicians in the D.C. area. Here you can see William F Ludwig with Chuck and Marge (photo courtesy of Music Trades Magazine). Everyday we have one of our customers mention their fond memories of our first store.

THE FIRST STORE IS BURNED
1968 Fires

In April 1968 as riots following the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. tore through the city’s inner core, the store was razed to the ground. The Levin Family made it out safely, but the store and all its contents were lost.

THE MOVE TO WHEATON, MD
Alan Red Marshall

The local community was determined to keep Chuck’s alive, so with their help, the store was reopened just four months later at its current location on Veirs Mill Road in Wheaton, Maryland. Chuck’s soon gained prominence as the industry’s top independent music store.

THE MOST "WONDER"FUL CUSTOMERS
Stevie Wonder Visits Chuck Levin's

The modest mom and pop shop became a DC institution. No musician could pass through DC without a stop at “Chuck’s.” To date, Chuck Levin's is the D.C. Metro Area's only source for Everything in Music.

A FAMILY OPERATION
Music Merchandise Review Praise For Chuck Levin's

Chuck’s is truly a 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
Praise And Awards For Chuck Levin's

Chuck’s continued to grow and prosper continuously each and every year since it’s inception, winning top sales awards from several of the biggest manufacturers and publications in the music industry.

GROWING OUR FAMILYExtended Family Operation

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 more than ten years, in an industry that is ever-changing 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.

THE FUTURE

What's next for Chuck Levin's? Just like Chuck & Marge did, we will 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 business. To sum it up, our future is you. No matter how you buy from us, we'll always treat you like family. We are always happy to help and will give you a fair deal. If you're in the area, stop by and see our legendary shop. If you're online and have a question, ask us. We will connect you with one of our music industry experts.