Business Spotlight: Music Go Round

Music Go Round has been buying and selling instruments in Louisville for 21 years, including the last eight years at their location off Hurstbourne Parkway. Owner Doug Carlson didn’t have any professional experience in the music business before starting the Louisville franchise, but music was always his passion.

“I used to manage steel plants up in Pennsylvania,” Carlson says. “We made wire, some of which is used for musical instruments like pianos, guitars, mandolins and banjos.”

Carlson wound up in Shelbyville, Kentucky, 24 years ago to manage a small wire plant and had the opportunity to make a career change after his position was downsized.

“Music had always been a hobby, but I wasn’t really good enough playing to make a living at it,” says Carlson, who has an engineering degree.

Instead, finding himself in Kentucky and without a job, Carlson jumped on the chance to buy a Music Go Round franchise.

“It’s sort of like being semi-retired, because it’s a lot of fun,” he says.

Doug’s son Phil is also a part owner in the business. Phil operates the store on a day-to-day basis, manages employees and oversees all inventory. Rather than leasing the space, Doug bought the building that houses Music Go Round when the business moved in and leases it to Phil.

Music Go Round has 35 locations across 18 states, and the Jeffersontown store is the only location in Kentucky. The friendly and knowledgeable staff has decades of experience across a wide range of instruments. The entire sales staff are musicians who have a genuine love for what they’re selling, many of whom started as customers at the business before joining the Music Go Round team.

Customers in search of anything from a guitar to a violin to keyboards can find what they’re looking for at Music Go Round. The selection is great for both seasoned musicians adding to their instrument collection and youngsters starting out in their school band.

And if it turns out you’re no longer using your instrument after a while or need an upgrade, Music Go Round buys instruments and gear seven days a week. The staff reviews each item then makes an offer based on fair market value. If you accept the offer, you’ll get paid on the spot.

If you’re looking to score a deal, be on the lookout for the store’s seasonal sales, including a back-to-school sale that’s great for families in search of school band instruments.

There are also clearance events throughout the year. The next upcoming clearance event is the Thanksgiving Day Event that takes place the day before Thanksgiving.

Music Go Round’s team of teachers even offer lessons seven days a week The 30-minute private sessions are available by appointment only and cover a wide range of instruments. Their teachers have a wealth of musical experience as performers and instructors and are committed to helping young people hone their craft.

Between all the new and used gear options, there is something for everyone. Music Go Round is also an authorized UPS shipper, so they can send gear across the country. All shipments are insured, and the staff has the know-how to expertly pack instruments for quick and safe transport.

Music Go Round, located at 3640 S. Hurstbourne Parkway, is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information please visit or call 502-495-2199.

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