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As It Was: Medford Music Store Cleverly Attracts Customers

The C. Fridiger building on North Central in downtown Medford was the site of several small businesses during the 1920s and 1930s.
In 1932, H.O. and Lilla Purucker opened the Purucker Piano House in the building. They closed during World War II when it became difficult to get music materials, but reopened in 1945 after remodeling the exterior and adding lots of windows.  Pedestrians in the street could see practically everything inside.

The business received national recognition as one of the most attractive stores in the United States.

Always innovative, the store contained listening booths so customers could hear records before buying them.  The Purucker Lucky Record Club gave paying customers tokens that could be exchanged for free LP records.

An employee who began working for the store in 1946, Jack Stong, became the owner and president of the Purucker Music House in 1965.  Stong continued the idea of enticing customers in unique ways.  One example was a billboard message designed to attract customers that said, “Only 36 more days until Beethoven’s birthday.” 
 

Sources: “Lilla Miriam Purucker." Southern Oregon History Revised, edited by Ben Truwe, Capitol's Who's Who for Oregon 1948-49, truwe.sohs.org/files/purucker.html; “Spelled-Out Quips Spell Out Customers." Billboard, 23 Feb. 1963, p. 45, books.google.com/books?id=dgsEAAAAMBAJ; "This was Purucker's store. It had great listening booths to...”, Pinterest, www.pinterest.com/pin/443252788295611664/; "Untitled." Survey of Historic and Cultural Resources. Medford, Oregon, 1993-94, heritagedata.prd.state.or.us/historic/index.cfm?do=main.loadFile&load=39546.pdf; "John Elliott Stong." Prabook, prabook.com/web/john_elliott.stong/3659565; "Medford, Oregon/Lucky Record Club/Purucker/Music..." Auction.token catalog, 4 Jan. 2011, auction.tokencatalog.com › Coins › Exonumia › Tokens › US Trade.

Luana (Loffer) Corbin graduated from Southern Oregon College, majoring in Elementary Education.  The summer after graduation she was hired to teach at Ruch Elementary, where she taught for 32 years. After retiring, Corbin worked for Lifetouch School Photography and then returned to Ruch as an aide helping with reading instruction and at the library.  More recently, she has volunteered at South Medford High.