DJ’s Top 6 on “Why St. Louis?”

by David Jahnke, Hal Leonard CorporationJahnke Promo Shot

Hi, RPMDA Friends!

Some industry associates have asked me why RPMDA decided to have our 2016 Convention in St. Louis.  They don’t know RPMDA’s rich history so I found myself telling them some of the fun and interesting facts I’ve learned about St. Louis along the way.  Here are 6 quick reasons why St. Louis was an easy decision to host our 2016 Convention:

#6:  The Gateway to the West but in the middle of everywhere!  Sure, explorers Lewis and Clark positioned St. Louis as the Gateway to the West, but now St. Louis is within 500 miles of one-third of the U.S. population and within 1,500 miles of 90 percent of the people in North America!  That fits perfectly with RPMDA’s mission to find convention sites that are easy to get to!

40th RPMDA St Louis Logo COLOR#5:  Ice Cream Cones:  Have you thought about how sad summer would be without ice cream cones?  Well, thanks to Italian immigrant Italo Marchiony, we can trace the history of the cone back to New York City and 1896.  But the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis introduced us to the waffle cone (yummy!).  According to the International Dairy Foods Association, Marchiony is credited with the invention of the cone, but a similar creation was independently introduced at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair by Ernest A. Hamwi, a Syrian concessionaire. Hamwi was selling a crisp, waffle-like pastry in a booth right next to an ice cream vendor. Because of ice cream’s popularity, the vendor ran out of dishes. Hamwi saw an easy solution to the ice cream vendor’s problem: he quickly rolled one of his wafer-like waffles in the shape of a cone, or cornucopia, and gave it to the ice cream vendor. The cone cooled in a few seconds, the vendor put some ice cream in it, the customers were happy and the cone was on its way to becoming the great American institution that it is today.  You have to respect the entrepreneurial spirit which we still find at the heart of RPMDA today.

#4: Horses:  My wife grew up on a “hobby ranch” and early in our courtship she introduced me to her horses.  What amazing creatures!   Of course, the most FAMOUS team of horses in the US are the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales.  What I didn’t know is that the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales were originally a gift from August Busch to his father at the end of prohibition in 1933.  He presented his father with an eight-horse Clydesdale hitch and a Budweiser beer wagon.  The team was sent to Washington, D.C. to deliver the first case of St. Louis based Budweiser beer produced after prohibition to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  The Clydesdale team has been a part of American history ever since and to that same extent, social gatherings (some which include beer) are a part of RPMDA history as well.

#3:  FREE!  Most of you know that I’m a DRUMMER, so if there’s one word that still resonates from my pre-Hal Leonard life, it’s FREE!  Did you know that St. Louis is only 2nd to Washington DC in the number of free major visitor attractions?  What’s even better is that the majority of the free Museums are located in Forest Park, which is directly across the street from The Chase Park Plaza Hotel – our official site of the 2016 RPMDA Convention.  Forest Park is home to the Saint Louis Art Museum, Science Center, History Museum and world famous Zoo.  All of which have FREE ADMISSION!  While the RPMDA annual convention isn’t “free”, it continues to be the best VALUE for the money.

#2:  Sports:  The members of RPMDA are very competitive!  Our conventions are filled with award winning ideas that help businesses move forward, so listen up sports fans:  We already checked and confirmed that the St. Louis Cardinals have HOME games on Friday, April 29th at 7:15 PM and on Saturday at 1:15 PM vs the Washington Nationals.

#1:  The first RPMDA Convention:  St. Louis sure does have a lot to boast about, but nothing compares to the fact that it hosted our first Convention (Retail Sheet Music Dealer Convection) in 1976.  Where better to celebrate the achievements of our past and ponder the prospects of the future than in the place where it all began.

I hope you’ll join us in St. Louis April 27th – 30th to celebrate RPMDA’s 40th Anniversary Reunion Convention!

Here’s to meeting you in St. Louis…


David Jahnke
Vice President
Secretary / Treasurer