West Music Company was founded by Pearl L. West. He was born in 1914 and grew up in a small house on a farm 1-½ miles southeast of Dean, Iowa. Farm life was rough in those days - there was no central heat or electricity and not much food. During the Great Depression, Pearl played the baritone horn in various bands and traveled all over Iowa to make a living. In August of 1940, he formed a partnership with Pete Peterson and together they began Peterson-West Music Company, a one-room retail and repair shop on South Clinton in Iowa City.