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Lamorinda Music Man Joe Campana Dies

At times playfully gruff, but always committed to the music, Joe Campana made his Lafayette store home base for people who loved music.

Joe Campana returned from service in World War II to his native Oakland with the longstanding dream of opening a music store. In 1947, he did just that, opening in Lafayette and making the jump over the hill from his new home in Albany every day.

The store became a local fixture for hundreds of kids, who first went to Campana's to pick up rental instruments for band practice at local schools and then became lifelong customers, with Joe offering sheet music, lessons and rentals every step of the way.

Joe met every request with a World War II-era "can do" affirmation: "You need it by when? You got it, baby!"

Campana always said the best way to learn music was "the old fashioned way" and he built his business in the old fashioned way, one customer at a time.

He died Sunday, suddenly, and taking his family and many friends by surprise. He was 90.

There will be a "musical remembrance" of Joe from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at Petars in Lafayette. Friends said Joe wanted a gathering at which everyone brought their instrument and made a little music.

Kevin Goto June 07, 2011 at 05:29 AM
I have been in and out of the store from 2000-2010 getting things for my kids and always tried to talk to Joe if he wasn't busy. We had many conversations and I know many in the community who will miss him. Many generations of students who purchased all those music books from the store are really indebted to his musical work. My condolences to his family and friends. Kevin Goto- Lafayette
Shannon W. June 07, 2011 at 07:11 AM
I too feel so sad Joe is gone. He was always so helpful in helping my children pick out their first instrument and in fixing those baffling things that sometimes went wrong with them My deepest sympathy to his friends and family, Joe will be missed.
Gary Peare June 07, 2011 at 07:16 AM
Godspeed, Joe, and thanks for letting me hang out and tune the ukes for you.
The Merry One June 07, 2011 at 05:49 PM
For years, our family has gone to Mr. C. for every musical purchase and consultation. He was always kind and patient and a true gentleman. We know you are playing your sweet music with the angels now, Joe. Our deepest sympathy to his family and friends.
rbp June 08, 2011 at 04:53 PM
Thank you, Joe, for being a ray of sunshine whenever we saw you! I always loved visiting with you! You will be deeply missed~ Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Campana family

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