Lanning Mollet started Mollet Music in summer of 1969 after seeing a need in Yankton, South Dakota. Mollet Music started selling Yamaha band instruments, Fender guitars and amplifiers. In addition to instruments, they also sold a variety of records, sheet music, instrument accessories, and electronic components. As the store expanded, they later added Lowery organs and Kawaii pianos. As years went by, they added many of the other major brand names of all of instruments.
Mollet Music offered lessons on all of the instruments. As the younger customers started coming into the store, they showed an interest in rock and roll bands. With these customers not having abundant cash, Lanning provided the instruments and teachers to help the young people become proficient in their quest of being a band. The lessons were customized to teach them as a band versus individualized. Some of these bands became very popular in the area. Lanning organized an annual rock and roll festival at a local motel with a large party room, with all of the lights and sound systems provided by Mollet Music. The event showcased the ‘Jam Bands’ taught at Mollet Music. The local community and parents of the musicians rallied around the idea and made the event a huge success. The festival promoted the bands future successes. As the bands started booking more gigs, they kept going back to Mollet Music for lessons and upgraded equipment.
In 2014, after 44 years, Lanning liquidated the inventory of Mollet Music to enjoy his retirement. Even today, some of the past band members get in touch with Lanning to show their appreciation for all of the help he gave them in their youth. Lanning has enjoyed the opportunity that Mollet Music has had to promote music in the community.