Luyben Music Store was started in 1948 by Bob Luyben in Kansas City, Missouri. It began as a reopening of his father’s repair shop from the basement of the family home and eventually turned into a business that served musicians throughout the community. The Luybens were a family of musicians. Bob and his father were clarinetists, a tradition that would pass to Annette Jr. in the future. Bob played in the navy band on bass clarinet during World War II before getting married and settling down in Kansas City. He married Annette who had studied piano, voice, and dance. Both Bob and his father played in the Kansas City Philharmonic as well a few other groups within the city. The idea behind Luyben Music was to create a space where these musicians could go to play, teach, and be together.
The first store outside the Luyben home was located at 1625 E 43rd Street and they moved to a second and final location at 4318 Main Street until the business closed in June 2020. The business provided a variety of services that revolved around teaching. At first, the business provided instrument repairs and lesson space. Luyben Music grew to meet additional needs of customers like books, reeds, instruments, music, and more. It was a one-stop-shop to musicians looking for material needs and advice. They even developed some of their own products including the Luyben Ligature for clarinets that is still used and sold today. Bob and Annette ran the business until their daughter, Annette Jr. took over in 1980 until 2020. The family built connections with performers including Doc Severinson, Joyce DiDonato, John Tesh, Harry Connick Jr., and the Osmonds. They also established relationships with instrument manufacturers the Getzen Company and Conn. Within the city, the Luybens were also well connected with the University of Missouri-Kansas City. They employed over 200 UMKC students at their store. The first of these students was Don Schoberg in 1955 who remained with the store for over 60 years.
Though the business on Main Street officially closed in June of 2020, Annette Jr. still runs a small shop for clarinet music in North Kansas City.