In 1973 by Bill and Janet Boyer, who along with their children had been performing folk music in the St Louis area for many years. The Boyers were also involved with the Fox Hollow Festival of Traditional Music and Arts, which was started by Janet’s brother, Bob Beers in upstate New York. The Boyers drew upon their family history, their experience with Fox Hollow, and their knowledge of folk music to create a store that would serve as a center of folk music and folk arts. The shop fostered the same kind of relaxed, friendly atmosphere that the Boyers brought to their performances at local festivals. Their reknown as musicians soon was rivaled by the reputation they established as the owners’ of one of the region’s most unique music stores.
During the early years of Music Folk, Bill and Janet Boyer founded another St. Louis institution as well, Focal Point. Originally founded in 1975 by Janet and Bill Boyer, Focal Point occupied the building immediately to the west of Music Folk. Assisted by a staff of volunteers they presented traditional American folk music and held jam sessions on the weekend evenings. As the intent of this activity was fun, not profit, the organization was chartered with the State of Missouri as a non-profit corporation. Focal Point is now an entity separate from Music Folk and has established a strong following in their own right, yet we still maintain a close, supportive relationship with them. For more information about Focal Point, visit their website.
In 1991, Janet Boyer retired and ownership of the store passed on to Andy Ploof who had been working in the store for fifteen years. Andy and his brother, Don, now own and operate Music Folk holding to the same ideas and traditions the Boyers established.
The scope of the store has expanded greatly in recent years. While still devoted to being the region’s principle retailer of folk and other acoustic instruments, Music Folk now offers an ever widening assortment of instruments including high quality instruments like Martin Guitars, Huss & Dalton Guitars, Weber Mandolins, and Fluke Ukes. In short, we seek a balance of preserving the past, keeping up with the rapid changes in instrument development, and anticipating the future. Be sure to check our What’s New pages to get an idea of what’s happening around the store today.