The doors of Sarlettes Music opened for the first time in the fall of 1953.
Walt Sarlette, former band director at Morris (MN) High School and well-known area musician, and his wife Florence, who had been teaching business courses at Morris and other area high schools, decided that Morris needed a music store.
Sarlettes Music initially stocked band instruments and related accessories, accordions, sheet music, piano and instrumental lesson books, phonographs and records. Walt also repaired band instruments and tuned and repaired pianos, and occasionally gave band lessons in the store.
The next year, the Kensington school district called and asked Walt to be their band director, so he added the two-day-a-week teaching job to his schedule (and continued that for another 18 years).
Walt and Florence operated the store for the next 25 years, with the part-time assistance of many area high school and college students, plus their own children, Sue, Del and Marty.
The store was originally located on West 6th street, the South side of what is now McGinnis Appliance. In 1959, the store moved to Atlantic Ave (main street) and shared space with Walt's Shoes (now John's Entertainment). Sarlettes Music moved across the street to its present location in 1969.
In 1974, their son Del returned from band instrument repair school and set up a shop in the back of the building.
Walt passed away in 1978, and Florence continued to run the store with the assistance of their son Marty, while Del took a job repairing band instruments for a music store in Moline, IL.
In 1981, Florence sold the business to Del and his wife Carlene (who had been a band director in the parochial school system in Davenport, Iowa).
Del and Carlene continue to operate Sarlettes Music to this day, and provide band instrument rentals, sales, accessories, and repair to schools and music students within a 60-mile radius of Morris, plus offering a large inventory of printed music for piano and other instruments.
Acoustic guitars, drums and related accessories can also be found in the store. Del and Carlene's sons Peter and Steven provide occasional help in the store, continuing the family tradition.