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Don Banks, affectionately known as "The Music Man", was born in 1929 in Carrabelle, Fl. He was raised in Tallahassee and graduated among the first four year male graduating class of Florida State University, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education. He served in the US Air Force where he played in a variety of bands; he began his lifelong career in music as a teacher and band director in Georgia and then at Dade City High School. After marrying the love of his life, Don decided to move to Tampa where he worked for L.A. Brown Music and later, for Arthur Smith Music. In 1963, Don and his family moved to Rome Georgia to work for Ken Stanton Music, where he took up the role of the Music Man, calling on schools in the Southeast and establishing band programs and renting instruments. In 1968 he moved back to Tampa to open his own music store on MacDill Avenue, called Associated Music Services. Two short years later it was clear he needed a bigger place, and moved to the current location on Henderson Blvd. Since many of the band directors already referred to the store as "Don Banks' place", he changed the name to "Don Banks Music". For many years he continued to play professionally in a variety of big bands and small combo's, The Florida Gulf Coast Symphony and The Don Fransisco Orchestra; and continued teaching, was the band director at Jesuit High school, and starting beginning band programs in all the Parochial Schools that fed Jesuit. Don has always held the belief that every child deserves a chance to play music. He will be greatly missed. Don Banks is predeceased by his brothers, Jerry Banks, Bill Banks, his sister, Cathy Banks, his wife, Myra Harless Banks, and his son, Randal Banks and he is survived by his son, Mitchel Donald Banks, his grandchildren, Anthony Banks,Teah Banks, and Montana Banks, and his great-grandson, Mason Banks and several nieces and nephews. Memorial Service will be held at New Beginnings Church 4100 S Manhattan Ave, Tampa, FL 33611 on Sat., Oct. 24th at 2pm with visitation at 1pm. In lieu of flowers please make donations in Don's name to your local schools music department.
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