Antique store owner gives piano to student after viral ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ performance

This article originally published on July 19, 2020.

The feel good story of a mystery viral musician is warming the hearts of people on the Internet. John Thomas Archer, a young man who played “Don’t Stop Believin’” at an antique shop in Norwood didn’t just go viral but he also received a very special gift from the shop owner himself.

On a Saturday afternoon, Archer was shopping at ReMARKable Cleanouts, a family-owned antique shop at Winsmith Mill Market.

An old piano piqued his interest so he asked one of the owners, Melissa Rediker, if he could play the instrument. Despite the sign on top that says “Do Not Play,” she still let the young man give it a go.

Archer and Waters share their feel good story
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No one in the antique shop thought they were about to witness an amazing performance. They were all taken aback when Archer started playing “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, which is the first song Archer learned on the piano.

The customers apparently loved it and they gathered around Archer, watching and humming along. Rediker said she wanted to talk to Archer and thank him but the shop was so busy that time. Sadly, the young musician has left before anyone got the chance to ask for his name.

Luckily, Rediker was able to take a video of Archer playing the piano. She posted it on their shop’s Facebook page and quickly went viral, gaining over 14,000 views. It also got popular on Twitter with over 360,000 views.

Archer playing feel good music
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Smitten by Archer’s exceptional piano skills, Rediker and the shop’s owner Mark Waters began their search for the mysterious young man who captured their hearts. They asked for help on social media to identify him so they can also meet him again.

Their search for Archer didn’t take long. Thanks to Juli McDonald of WBZ Channel 4 who interviewed him for a segment on the 11 p.m. news. “My girlfriend sent me a text that the media was looking for me,” said Archer.

“I didn’t know so many people would be affected by watching me play. I am just baffled.” Archer is a graphic design student at Northeastern University and a self-taught musician.

Archer went back to the antique shop and gave everyone another amazing performance; this time playing “All of Me” by John Legend.

Archer sitting next to a piano. A feel good moment.
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Though Waters didn’t see him perform last time, he saw the viral video and was really amazed by Archer’s talent. Waters said Archer deserves all the attention he’s getting for being a talented individual.

When Archer thought this feel good story couldn’t get any better, he was surprised by a very special gift from the shop owner.

Water wanted to give him a Steinway model piano which made him burst into tears. Such a heartwarming moment brought tears to Waters’ eyes as well.

The blessing that Archer is about to receive will help him a lot to become a better pianist. He said he has a keyboard but now that he’s finally having a piano, he can level up his game.

Archer and antique shop owner Waters
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Archer can get the piano from the shop once they find someone to get it on his fourth-floor apartment.

Waters is very happy to give the piano to someone who truly deserves it. “He’s a good young man and I’m glad he gets to have the piano,” Waters said. “If it brings joy into his life, that brings joy into my heart.”

We hope you enjoyed this feel good story of Archer. If you want to be mesmerized by his amazing piano skills, watch this video: