Oral History Information
Ellen Harper Verdries grew up in a music store! Her parents, Dorothy and Charles Chase, formed their first store in Massachusetts before moving to Southern California in 1958. The Folk Music Center of Claremont has served the community for over 50 years providing an amazing variety of unique and unusual instruments, lessons and repairs. Ellen remembers the early days of the store as well as the coffee shop her parents established, the Golden Ring, which they started in order to provide a venue for musicians to perform. Ellen provided her own unique skills of customer service and musical knowledge to her role to continue the business into the second generation. Music remains in her family line as her son is the award-winning musician and songwriter Ben Harper.