Mehr's Music Store

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Mehr's Music Store & Novelty Shop was a music, instrument, novelty, costume and magic shop. It was first opened in the early 1920s by Charles Mehr in a shop across from the Age-Herald Building on 5th Avenue North. He opened a second location in the Clark Building at 404 20th Street North in 1925.

Mehr's wife, Libbie also worked in the music store. She published several songs, including "Alabama Blues" which were recorded by early blues artists.

From before 1937 until after 1949, Mehr's was at 113 19th Street North. In 1955 the store was located at 1726 2nd Avenue North, but soon moved across the street to 1731 2nd Avenue North.

After Charles Mehr died in 1956, the business was taken up by siblings Wade and Geraldine Haley, who had clerked in the shop. When Ms Haley died, another sister, Grace Payne, with her husband W. C. Payne came to Birmingham to help Mr Haley run the store. Other family members helped out, as well.

The magic counter in back was presided over by a practicing magician who would teach the tricks to customers who had bought them, but only after swearing them to the "magician's code" of secrecy. Among those clerks were Vic Fichtner and Robert Chapman.

The Haley family sold the business to Chapman in the late 1960s. The store moved to upper level of the Century Plaza shopping mall in 1975 and changed its name to Tricks 'N Treats.

References

  • "Dealer opens branch store." (June 6, 1925) Presto
  • Communication from Tom Stewart, nephew of the Haleys and Paynes (October 13, 2014)