Harry Carter


Oral History Information

Interview Date
Birth Date
Deceased Date
Job Title
Past President
Company Name
Sorden Music Company

Harry Carter was already a school band director when he opened a music store in Ottumwa, Iowa. The year was 1948 when Harry and two partners set out to develop a store that would specialize in customer service for band directors. As the store grew, Harry hired college friends and several buddies from his army days over a dozen men in fact. The school programs grew as did the home organ business, the record department and in-store lessons.  The store, like so many in America at the time, became the musical cultural hub for the community and Harry was known as the town's music man.  Along the way Harry provided music to countless people in Ottumwa and his impact grew as those students moved away, out to Centerville, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids and beyond.  He sold his store to Steve West of West Music in Coralville to retire.  At the time of Harry’s passing in May 2014 Mr. West stated “We lost one of the true gentlemen of the music industry.”