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One on One with UpBeat Music’s Dick Reinlie

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Interview by Samantha Lambert


In case you haven’t noticed, there is a new music store in Fort Walton Beach at the corner of Racetrack and Beal. It’s called UpBeat Music, and it’s owned by Dick Reinlie, who also owns an UpBeat Music store in Crestview. Beachcomber’s Samantha Lambert sat down with Mr. Reinlie for a one-on-one interview.


Tell me about your background—where you grew up, college, etc.?

I am a military brat. My family came here in 1965. I went to Choctaw and then graduated from FSU in 1973 with a science and marketing degree. I worked in the Telecommunication industry for a while and then came back to the area in 2002.


Tell me about UpBeat Music.

I opened UpBeat Music in Crestview in 2011. It has done really well. Our newest location in Fort Walton Beach opened in April of this year. Our focus is on providing the amateur musician a place to play their instrument, supporting budding middle school students in band, encouraging education of musicians, and also a place to have your instruments repaired. We have great employees who really care about the customers.


What got you into music?

My family is musical. My dad played the ukulele, my mom played the piano, my sister and I played the drums.  For me, drumming was a natural thing. I had very few drum lessons.


Who were your musical influences?

One was drummer Buddy Rich, who I got to meet a couple of times. Another was Joe Morello, who was a drummer with the Dave Brubeck band. Rick Shaughnessy was another influence. He was the drummer in the Doc Severinsen band on the Johnny Carson show. I did some lessons with him at Florida State.


What is your favorite part about this line of work?

I get a thrill out of watching kids rent an instrument for the first time. I tell them to “just play music and keep playing, and you will get better!” UpBeat Music holds a recital every year in Crestview for around 130 students—both kids and adults.


What have been your favorite performance venues?

Being a member of the Choctawhatchee Style Marchers back in the ‘70s had a huge influence upon me. It gave me many life experiences, taught me leadership skills, and gave me a lot of confidence. Also, every Sunday for four years, I played in a jazz group called the Jazz Mackerels at the Big City Bistro. I played in a jazz orchestra that used to play at Fudpucker’s. I also enjoyed playing (with) the Allman Goldflies Band in a series called Studio Amped that aired on public television out of Pensacola in January of this year.


What’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why?

It was being a product market manager for a wireless company with a product that didn’t have a market. Plus, I had a bad boss.


What do you like to do in your down time?

I like to golf. I shoot in the 80s. My first golf instructor was Edwin Watts. I also like to spend time with my kids and six grandchildren with one on the way.


What advice would you give someone who wants to be a musician?

Just play your instrument and find all opportunities to play it.


What does the future hold for you?

Traveling with my wife anywhere.

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