The Downtown Development Authority of Swainsboro approached Michael Bright in January 2013. They gave him 90 days to improve Main Street Market (MSM). If not, they were going to close it down. Within those 90 days, more than 30 dealers moved in, and by the end of the year 2014, the 12,000-square-foot building was filled with more than 60 dealer booths and a waiting list. The rest is history. Despite being closed for more than a month in 2020 due to Covid, Main Street Market is breaking records. When they opened back up on May 1, it was the largest month in sales ever for Main Street Market since Bright took over as manager, and sales have been increasing every month since. As a matter of fact, MSM has more sales in 2020 than in 2019, and that’s including being closed due to Covid. January is usually the slowest month of the year, but January 2021 is now the largest month in sales ever within the past seven years.
MSM has more than 150 new visitors sign their guest book every month, and 250 guests signed it just in January 2021. Visitors from all 50 states and 16 countries have signed the guest book since the 2014 opening of Main Street Market. MSM also has seen their Facebook following grow to more than 8,000 followers. The Music Memories Museum located inside Main Street Market has been a draw, helping to bring in visitors. It was recently acknowledged as a must-see tourist attraction on the website roadsideamerica.com . The museum is Bright's private collection, and it's one of the largest private collections of autographs, personal items and personal clothing once owned by country music, rock ‘n roll and R&B singers this side of Nashville, TN.
Bright was in the music industry for more than 20 years. He decided the museum would be a great accent, being Swainsboro has a lot of local music history, such as Hank Williams Jr.'s first time performing on a stage in Swainsboro in 1958 at the age of 8. He performed on the Nancy Auditorium stage with his mother, Aubrey Williams. You will see a personal suit once owned by Hank Williams Jr. in the local music history display. You will also see items in the museum once owned by Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lee Lewis, Janice Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Aritha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Kenny Rogers, and Dolly Parton. There are also hundreds of other items, and it's no cost to view the museum. Main Street Market is located at 215 West Main St. and is open six days a week, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
Read more on the website www.musicmemoriesmuseum.com or facebook.com/musicmemoriesmuseum.