Centenarians

Van Alexander co-wrote “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” with Ella Fitzgerald while both worked in the Chick Webb Orchestra back in 1938. The success of that song led to a job as arranger for Webb as well as Benny Goodman and Paul Whiteman and super stardom for Ella. Van formed his own band during the wonderful...
Dr. Leo Beranek is considered by many to be the father of concert hall acoustics. His amazing career has not only traced the growth of acoustic measurement but has documented it in a series of articles and books. His first book, Acoustics, was published in 1954 and is considered the bible for the...
Abbott Buegeleisen and his late brother ran the music wholesaling business that his father formed in New York City. Abbott’s father and a friend, who soon after passed away, combined their names to form Buegeleisen & Jacobson. B&J became a strong force in the industry by providing...
Robert C. Cosgrove was hired by the Baldwin Piano Company following World War II and later worked his way up to vice president. He witnessed the re-building of the production line, which during the war was used to assemble wooden gliders. Bob also took part in what he described as a historic...
Alfredo Flores was born in Mexico in 1908 and moved to San Antonio, Texas with his mother and grandmother when he was a small boy. He took several jobs as a young man including a position with the Thomas Goggan piano company. His experience with the piano company provided Mr. Flores with the idea...
Steno Giulini served as the editor of the International Association magazine "Euro Piano" for well over 60 years.  He was by far the oldest employee of the specialist publishing PPV Medien and became a historian as he said, by simply writing and living.  At the time of his NAMM Oral History...
Leita Jolly was celebrating her 100th birthday the week she was interviewed in 2003. On the occasion, she played the piano for her friends with her ragtime flare. In 1917, while World War I was ending, Leita was hired as a song plugger. Her main job was to play the latest songs in the music store...
Leif Juhl had quite a life in music! As a boy, he picked up a trumpet – the instrument he played past his 100th birthday.  Leif was the ad man for Selmer before forming the Juhl Ad Agency in Elkhart, Indiana. Over the years, he worked for many instrument companies and even helped design some...
 Shep Shepherd co-wrote the now classic instrumental “Honky Tonk Part 2” while playing in the Bill Doggett band.  The recording became a hit in the late 1950s and helped build a stronger audience for rock instrumentals, which remained popular throughout the mid 1960s.  Shep began playing drums and...
Viola Smith played drums in a number of big bands and small combos during her career in music.  She joined Phil Spitalny's all-female orchestra as the drummer and later appeared in such films as 1945's "Here Come the Co-Eds" featuring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.  In the 1960s she joined the Kit...

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