Guitar Center was originally founded as the Organ Center in 1959 by Wayne Mitchell. The company changed its name to the Vox Center in 1964. As Rock n Roll became increasingly popular, the company again changed its name in the late 1960s to Guitar Center.
Originally founded in Hollywood, the chain quickly expanded to San Francisco, San Diego and several locations near Los Angeles.
In the late 1970s, Ray Scherr, the manager of the San Francisco store, purchased the company from Mitchell.
In 1997, Guitar Center went public.
In 2000, the company acquired Musician’s Friend.
In 2007, the company was acquired by Bain Capital.
Guitar Center is currently the largest chain of musical instrument stores in the world. The chain consists of 240 locations in the US.