39 Years Ago Best Buy Was Named After a Julie Andrews Movie, ZVOX Founder Had Full Head of Hair

Posted by Tom Hannaher , Sunday, November 21, 2010
In the "About Us" section on the ZVOX web site we point out that our company was started by industry veterans. Evidence in support of this claim comes in the form of this clipping from the Sound Advisor newsletter of September 1971. It shows me, smiling and with a remarkable amount of red hair, as one of several new employees of The Sound of Music, the Minnesota chain of stereo stores that later morphed into Best Buy. It says "Tom's specialties are communications and live recording. He has consistently displayed a real determined instinct in helping our customers find the equipment that's best for them."
I did, in fact, get into the audio business to support my live recording habit. Revox tape recorders and Shure ribbon microphones weren't cheap, so I got a part time job at a store that sold them. Within a couple of years I had been named Director of Advertising and was one of the top five people running the company when I left to join Advent Corporation in 1976. Many of the guys I worked with at Sound of Music -- including Dick Schulze and Brad Anderson -- went on to become multi-millionaires (or in Dick's case, multi-billionaire).
They were good people. Hard working and driven. The same was true at Advent, where Henry Kloss had built a company that magnetically attracted smart, interesting people with a passion for music, video and unorthodox, high-value products. Looking back, it seems odd that we actually manufactured speakers and big-screen TVs in a building across the street from MIT.

The audio business has changed a lot in 39 years. But we'll do our best to keep coming up with unorthodox high-value products.


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