"American Gothic with open reel magnetic tape!" Wick and Mary Moses pose for a Roaring Fork Bank advertisement in 1974. Photo by Becky Young

The home of Wick Moses is full of shelves of vinyl records and pictures from his many adventures. A motorcycle rests on the front lawn. He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1947 and came to the Roaring Fork Valley to attend Colorado Rocky Mountain School (CRMS) in 1963. After attending Denver University, he returned to teach European history at CRMS and later opened Carbondale’s only “High Fi” and record shop.

He reminisced on a “primitive” environment at CRMS, “with no soft edges,” calling it “an overall amazing experience.” He credits the school for helping to shape him into who he is today, with its atmosphere, work programs, education, evening and outdoor activities and backpacking trips.

“I am still wearing the CRMS school uniform — jeans, and a flannel shirt,” he joked. “I had not been west of Pennsylvania when I came out here. So this was a total shock. CRMS was completely different. When I stepped off the train in Glenwood Springs, my life changed dramatically. Within about four years, I was definitely a westerner. The summer of ‘67 was the last summer I spent back east and never went back.”

After a band Moses played in split up, he decided to try something new. Having loved music and had an interest in audio equipment, he opened the very first record shop in downtown Carbondale. After setting his mind to that idea, buying audio lines, records and building racks, Moses opened Main Street Music in May of 1973. 

“I was driving over to Denver and Boulder to buy records. At that time, it was all two-lane from Glenwood Springs to Georgetown, along with Vail and Loveland Pass. A long drive, especially in the winter. I thought, ‘You know what, I’m driving over there to do this stuff, maybe what I should do is open a shop in downtown Carbondale!’ A great idea!”

After a decade of successes and challenges, the business was sold in 1983. Moses credits the store’s success as being “in the right place, at the right time, with the right product.” He applied the same sentiment to KDNK. He was the first station manager when they flipped the switch in April of 1983. Moses was later on KDNK’s board. At the time, Moses said, creativity was “running wild” with every fascinating show on the air, as well as the informative bonus of adding National Public Radio programming.

Other notable accomplishments include performing at the first iteration of the Mountain Fair and forming a part of the fair’s first board of directors. He also did the sound for the fairs through ’76.

“The thing about Mountain Fair was that it carried on that whole idea of a group of volunteers coming together to create something. That really was a big driving force in the town,” Moses told The Sopris Sun. We can change this place and do new things, if we just come together and work together to do it.”

He would eventually take on a job as an audio rep and moved to the Front Range and then worked at BMW Motorcycles of Denver. He later returned to Carbondale in ’92 and KDNK, where he landed a DJ slot. In ’97, he returned to work at KDNK, selling underwriting and doing production, as well as some engineering.

In addition to doing a myriad of volunteer and nonprofit work locally, Moses managed to travel the American West by motorcycle.

He has witnessed Carbondale grow and change during his many years here. He expressed gladness at seeing young people continue to come to the Valley and get involved. 

“When you become involved, you actually become invested in the community. You’re not just someone who’s coming here, you’re doing something else to contribute to this place. The reason why it is strong is that there were people who saw that and continue to see that. The fair and KDNK, clay center and so on show how people love getting involved in stuff that takes them away from the grind of the day and their ordinary lives and brings them together.”

Main Street Music opened in May of 1973. Courtesy photo