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 Melvin Harris Cohen

Melvin Harris Cohen

Birth
Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, USA
Death 1 Oct 2004 (aged 58)
Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, USA
Burial Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, USA
Plot Section 3, Plot MC36, Grave 4
Memorial ID 125841566 · View Source
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Charlotte Observer, The (NC) - Saturday, October 2, 2004

Melvin Cohen a giant in Charlotte's music scene, died Friday after a short battle with cancer. He was 58.

Cohen operated Reliable Music, the region's premier shop for drums, guitars and other music equipment, for 38 years. The store attracted musicians from novices to legends Eric Clapton, the Allman Brothers and The Who. It also served as a breeding ground that nurtured the local rockers who forged Charlotte's music scene. At its peak, the store had 38 employees. It was the largest music shop between Atlanta and Washington, D.C., said Cohen's nephew, Ritchie Schacher, 36, who worked at the store. "Reliable Music was a place where everyone felt at home, the customers as well as the employees," he said. "It was the culture of the place." The business began when Cohen started helping his father with the family pawnshop on East Trade Street. He handled instruments in the back of the shop and fell in love with the gig, said his sister Sandra Thacker. Their father then helped his son start his own store. But Melvin Cohen worked hard, she said, and "paid back every penny."

In addition to the store, Cohen also was instrumental in starting the Festival in the Park. This year the event at Freedom Park celebrated its 40th year. Each year, his sister said, she could always find him amid the throngs because anyone she asked knew who he was. "It was cool," Schacher said. "He was always my hero. From the time I was 8 or 10 years old, I wanted to be just like him." After high school, Schacher started to work at his uncle's store and continued on and off for eight years. "That was where I learned to be a man." He said he learned responsibility and generosity. But the pressures of national chains and big box stores started to encroach on Reliable Music. Cohen closed the shop in 2001.

Recently he was diagnosed with liver cancer, Thacker said, and on Thursday fell into a coma. Cohen leaves behind his wife, Patti, and 8-year-old twin sons, Aaron and Joey. The family is having a graveside funeral at 1 p.m. Monday at the Hebrew Cemetery on Statesville Avenue. Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service will be handling the arrangements.


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  • Created by: Carolina Grave Hunter
  • Added: 3 Mar 2014
  • Find A Grave Memorial 125841566
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Melvin Harris Cohen (7 Aug 1946–1 Oct 2004), Find A Grave Memorial no. 125841566, citing Hebrew Cemetery, Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Carolina Grave Hunter (contributor 47321203) .