Michael J. Connolly, founder of MJC Ironworks, whose company name bore his initials, on Nov. 9 passed away after a long battle with cancer. Connolly was known as the “String Guru” for his storid career at both Dean Markley and Carbondale, Pa.-based MJC Ironworks. He touched so many lives, including music superstar Vince Gill, who called Connolly’s good friend, Mike Hansen.
“It is with profound sadness that we share the loss of our friend, brother and founder of MJC Ironworks, Mike Connolly, after a lengthy battle with cancer,” MJC wrote on social media.
“Typical of Mike, he fought it right to the end, and never stopped making strings.
Michael LOVED musicians. The telephone number on MJC’s website and business cards was his personal number. He was never too busy to take a call from any artist, just to chat with them, find out what they were doing, and share a love of music.
He spent a lifetime in the string industry, before deciding to gather us friends and start making his own strings, which are loved by all who use them. It was a dream we shared with him and are proud that we could walk that road with him as long as we did.
Our love and deepest condolences go out to Mike’s family, his friends, and this huge community of musicians who loved him.
The future of MJC Ironworks is uncertain right now. we’ll have an update on that in the weeks to come. But just for now…
We love you, Mike… you will always be missed, and never forgotten.”
Gordy Wilcher, who served as owner of Owensboro Music Center for 46 years and subsequently worked for MJC Ironworks, added the following: “Received word tonight of passing of my longtime buddy and founder of MJC Ironworks Strings Mike Connolly. We had many great times working NAMM Shows and i gained lots of experience as National/International Sales Director for Mike and MJC Ironworks. He possessed incredible knowledge of Guitar/ bass string theory and design and was a great bassist. RIP my friend.”
Wilcher added in an earlier interview that he could not pass up the opportunity to be a part of MJC Ironworks. “Michael and I have long been friends,” he said. “When he decided to start MJC Ironworks, he wanted me to be a part of it.”
Check back for more commentary about the great life of Mike Connolly.