FEATURED SHOP OF THE MONTH

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MAY 2021

THE CANDYMAN

STRINGS & THINGS

The Candyman in Santa Fe, New Mexico was founded in 1969 by Matthew Schwartzman, who traveled from New York to California to open a music shop. On the way, he stopped in Santa Fe and realized that this was where he was meant to be. Matthew passed in 2009, and his long-time general manager, Rand Cook (who purchased his first instrument -- a Snoopy jaw harp -- from The Candyman when he was three years old) and his wife Cindy purchased the store. 

In over 50 years, The Candyman has gone from a 200-sq. ft. acoustic guitar shop to New Mexico’s largest full-line 14,000-sq. ft. music store, filled with a vast inventory of guitars, including Fender, Martin, Taylor, Yamaha, Cordoba, Eastman, ESP, Guild, G&L, Schecter, and Ibanez. It’s the most decorated music store in the world, receiving NAMM’s prestigious Dealer of the Year Award, and now includes repairs, rentals, and an education center.

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During the 1960’s renaissance of traditional American folk music, two guitarist-songsters -- Reverend Gary Davis and Mississippi John Hurt -- each wrote a finger-picking masterpiece called “The Candyman.” Matthew heard Rev. Davis perform the song in New York, about a man who had everything, and the man you would most likely spend time with because he had the best songs and stories to be sung and told. And The Candyman shop was born.