John Goddard grew up in Mill Valley. He attended Park School, Edna McGuire School, Alto School and Marin Catholic High School. He went to work for Village Music when it was a mom‐and‐pop music store in the Sequoia Theater building.
In 1961 it moved to 9 East Blithedale Ave. In 1968, Village Music’s owner Sarah Wilcox decided to retire. She was in the process of selling the business to a retired sheet music salesman, but he dropped dead of a heart attack on the way to sign the papers.
Goddard stepped in, buying the business. He transformed it into a destination for collectors of vintage vinyl records. It was nationally recognized for its extensive collection of old, rare and specialty records.
The list of stars that visited Village Music is a virtual who’s who of American roots music.
Over the years, many of them showed their appreciation by performing at his anniversary and birthday shows at Sweetwater, the Mill Valley rock club where the likes of Jerry Garcia, John Lee Hooker, Robert Cray, Albert Collins, Carlos Santana and other greats played because Goddard asked them to.
In 2007, Goddard closed the Village Music Store.
(This vignette of Marin history is compiled for Marinscope by the Mill Valley Historical Society.)