Carrie Rengers

LivingSound is still alive, just not as its own business

Janice McClelland and Gary Jones toast to a new start together. McClelland Sound bought Jones’ 10-year-old LivingSound.
Janice McClelland and Gary Jones toast to a new start together. McClelland Sound bought Jones’ 10-year-old LivingSound. Courtesy photo

For years, when LivingSound received calls for commercial work, the store would refer customers to McClelland Sound. And when McClelland Sound got calls for residential work, it referred the business to LivingSound.

Now, the two companies are one.

Gary Jones sold his 10-year-old LivingSound to McClelland Sound owner and president Janice McClelland.

“There’s just no one better, period, for me . . . to sell to and partner with,” Jones says.

He and his employees are now at McClelland just east of Old Town at 345 N. Ohio, and the LivingSound store at 3983 N. Woodlawn has closed.

“We just decided it was a really good idea,” McClelland says. “Gary has a great reputation. LivingSound has a great reputation.”

She says Jones and his employees are “well loved by their customers.”

McClelland Sound has a long history in Wichita. McClelland’s grandfather, Herbert “Mac” McClelland started the business in 1928 as a sound and audio company.

There weren’t a lot of suppliers in those days, McClelland says, so her grandfather “built a lot of his own equipment.” That included a lot of speakers.

“He pulled them on a cart behind his car.”

He went to political events, fairs and rodeos throughout Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. He’d set up sound systems and often was asked to then emcee, too, which McClelland says he got pretty good at.

In the early 1950s, her grandfather became an early Muzak franchisee. When video came out, the company added projectors and screens and video conferencing.

“We have grown with the technology, really,” McClelland says.

She says her company and LivingSound have a lot in common.

“It’s very similar to what we do technologically with sound, video and control systems.”

Now, McClelland Sound will offer it all for residential and commercial customers and is remodeling its showroom to highlight the residential side of the business.

Jones says it’s great to now have everything under one roof.

“We have very similar strengths and service — unsurpassed service,” he says. “I’m really excited.”

Carrie Rengers has been a reporter for almost three decades, including 16 years at The Wichita Eagle. Her Have You Heard? column of business scoops runs five days a week in The Eagle. If you have a tip, please e-mail or tweet her or call 316-268-6340.