Trade Regrets

John Connolly, Jr., founder of Connolly Music Company, passed away on August 26, at the age of 87.  John was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather who was long off the tee and known for his witty (and refreshingly dry) sense of humor.

Jake Connolly’s father founded the company (then John M. Connolly & Co.) in 1969 in Fort Salonga, NY after purchasing Wm. R. Gratz Import Company of New York– where he was previously General Manager.  They were the exclusive distributor of products such as Höfner and Paesold among other brands and John was actively involved in marketing the “Beatle bass” in its heyday.

About that time, John Jr. approached Mrs. Margareta Infeld about getting the exclusive distribution for Thomastik-Infeld in the U.S.  They had just developed the world’s first synthetic string, called Dominant, which was receiving mixed reviews when it was first introduced to the market.  

She accepted, and John Jr. became significantly instrumental in the rise of the world’s first ‘plastic’ string – taking significant risk in convincing the multitudes that this was a true paradigm shift in the world of strings.  Convince them he did and his relationship with Mrs. Infeld and her company helped revolutionize the string world.

John M. (Jake) Connolly III purchased his father’s company in 1994 – and John Jr. moved to Valley of the Sun, Arizona a few years later to pursue his retirement where he enjoyed playing golf, reading John Grisham novels, and never having to shovel another snowy driveway.

John was born in Cincinnati, Ohio (and remained a life-long Reds fan), attended both Harvard University and Columbia Business School and served in the U.S. Army.

Jake’s father’s key corporate value was that a company be run well for all its partners, suppliers, customers and employees – and remains the key driving force for the business to this day.

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