Portman’s Music celebrates 85 years
September 25 – ALBANY – At a time when business comes and goes, Portman’s Music Superstore celebrates its 85th anniversary in 2021.
From its humble beginnings in downtown Savannah, Portman’s has grown into one of the Southeastern United States’ largest and most recognized music providers by staying true to the original innovative spirit of the Portman family and with an emphasis on music education. Still privately owned by the Portman family of Savannah, Portman’s Music Superstore now includes locations in Brunswick, Augusta and Albany, in addition to the Savannah headquarters.
As Portman’s celebrates the milestone anniversary, owner Jerry Portman and his wife, Myra Portman, have announced they will revitalize a store motto that dates back to Jerry’s grandfather: “Everything for the Musician.”
âOur first priority has always been taking care of customers,â said Jerry Portman, who started working in the store as a preteen with his father, Ben Portman, in the 1950s. âNow what? happens all the time is that people I see will tell me I’m the guy who sold them their first horn. And they still shop with us because we treated them well. So now they bring their children and even their grandchildren to us. “
Music education has always been a top priority for Jerry and Myra Portman and Portman’s stores, and each store has teaching studios as well as an impressive roster of instructors for a wide variety of instruments. In Savannah, Portman’s was instrumental in starting group programs in virtually every public and private school in the area, and tens of thousands of student musicians got started with an instrument and instructions from Portman’s.
Originally, instrument makers approached Ben Portman for his help in connecting with Savannah schools, and Portman’s became the primary supplier of musical equipment for group programs in Savannah schools, from Southeast Georgia, the Lowcountry of South Carolina, Augusta, Albany and Brunswick.
Music lessons have become an integral part of the Portman experience. With over 45 instructors, all of whom are working musicians, students can learn almost any instrument in a safe, friendly and professional environment.
âWhat I saw was that we could have a positive effect in schools and help kids develop a love of playing a musical instrument,â said Jerry Portman. âWe helped start the orchestral program for every private school in the City of Savannah as well as schools in Bryan County and Effingham County. So we were able to help many young musicians get started, and now we are serving the third or fourth generation of some families.
As the music industry and the commercial landscape have changed and been disrupted, Portman’s Music Superstore has remained one of Georgia’s premier musical resources by continuing to adhere to the values ââthat made the store successful there. is over 80 years old.
âWe provide everything for the musician,â Jerry Portman said. “This is really how the business grew.”