A POPULAR music shop in York will close its doors for good as its owner, who has been selling instruments for 40 years and a day, retires.

Steve Morrison runs Red Cow Music on Goodramgate, which will shut on April 14, just over forty years since his first day of work at Banks Music Shop in Lendal at the age of 21.

Steve, who also founded the York Ukulele Festival and set up music shop MORMusic, said he was shocked by the number of people who got in touch when he announced he would be


He said: “It’s a phenomenal reaction, I didn’t expect that. It was lovely.”

But he reassured customers he will still be going to music festivals, as

well as teaching ukulele classes.

Red Cow Music sells concertinas, sitterns, mandolas, accordions, tin whistles, banjos, African and Indian drums and ukuleles, and also gives ukulele lessons for musicians of all ages.

Steve trained at Leeds School of Music and originally planned to become a teacher, but the 61-year-old said he did not enjoy the role, so decided to get a job at Banks Music Shop.

He said: “I found my letter of employment in a box about three years ago.

He said: “It said I was to start on April 13, 1978, at 9am promptly. The owner Miss Banks was from a different era, she always called me Steven.”

Later, Steve founded MORMusic, which he ran for 25 years before selling up and setting up Red Cow Music.

Steve said some of his greatest music memories included fixing James Taylor’s guitar at the last minute before he went on stage.

He said: “I’ve met everybody from Ed Sheeran to Bob Dylan, I’ve fixed instruments for loads of people.

“I once had a phone call from a chap who rang up to borrow an amplifier for an evening. He said bring it down and drop it off at the Opera House.

“I didn’t know who it was but when I got there it was Mark Knopfler. I spent the evening backstage helping them prepare the guitars.

“I met Ray Davies from The Kinks and repaired his guitar, and asked him to teach me to play the acoustic part to Lola, so we sat and drank tea while he taught me.”

Dad-of-two Steve and his wife of 32 years, June, who also works at the shop, will hand over the business to their son Miles who will take over running the store as an online business.

And he said the shop would be closing on a high after a great year for the company. Plans for the shop's final day of trading, on April 14, will include live music performances.

He said: "We have had one of our best years. York is a fabulous city.

“I will still be at festivals.

“And I’m going back to playing

musical instruments again, I adore it. I’ve been playing the banjo.

“Now I’m going to take some time off and take a trip to America, sit down and listen to some music.”