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A Look Inside New York's Oldest Latin Music Store

by Chris Williams
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Casa Amadeo

Chris Williams, WFUV

Mike Amadeo has run the oldest Latin music store since 1969

 

While most of the clubs and dance halls in the Bronx have disappeared, there's one piece of music history that's still standing. 
 
Casa Amadeo has been part of the Bronx community since the 1940s. Mike Amadeo bought the store in 1969 and still runs it today. He's been in the music industry since 1950, performing and writing songs. 
 
After all this time he said he doesn't like the way music has changed. 
 
"I won't compare the lyrics and the way things were done back then with the lyrics they're coming out with today," he said, "The lyrics are terrible. Everything is talking about the naked woman. Before, composers as myself used to make sure when we wrote something, it was something decent."  
 
But Amadeo's not afraid to keep up with technology. His store now stocks more CDs than Vinyl. 
 
Amadeo said most of the Latin music from the 30s and 40s is available on CD.
 
"I go along with whatever they come out with."
 
Amadeo has no interest in performing any more, but he still writes songs and enjoys playing the guitar.  
 
When he was growing up in Puerto Rico, he taught himself how to play with his grandfather's guitar.
 
"I couldn't touch that guitar. If I did my grandfather would kick my butt," he said, "It hanged there and once in awhile he would be away and I would pull it down. But then I'd have to make sure it was put in the same place, the same way he left it just in case he was checking me out."
 
Amadeo said he's been able to stay open for so long because when business was good he took advantage of it. 
 
He plans to continue running the store, and recently signed a 5 year lease.

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