Centenarians

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...
Tom Lee is one of the most famous names in Asian music retailing history.  With Tom Lee Music stores all around Hong Kong and parts of China, his name has been synonymous with music since the early 1950s.  In addition to the stores that he established with his wife Betty, the Lees also formed a...
Kline Locher was one of the good old veteran piano salesmen who travelled the great one-lane highways of America before the advent of the blessed two lane interstates. Kline worked for a number of piano companies during his long career and in all, covered most of the United States as his territory...
Vera May is the matriarch figure of the iconic Australian acoustic instrument maker Maton Guitars. Wife of founder, Bill May, Vera worked in the business from 1954 through to retirement in 1987, organizing the administrative and financial aspects, while Bill built the guitars. The husband and wife...
Hideo Nonaka was the chairman of Nonaka Boeki Company, a music instrument distributor located in Yokohama, Japan. His father began importing musical recordings in a business that was burned to the ground during World War II.  Hideo reestablished the business and in 1953 expanded the product line to...
Larry Peyser spent most of his career in the music wholesale business. Larry’s sister married Abbott Buegelesien after World War II and over the years Larry did not just work for the company, he learned much of its early history. Abbott’s father, Sam, formed the historic music wholesaler,...
Bill Pitman was a first call studio musician in Los Angles who played on a string of hit records and award winning motion pictures. As a member of the Wrecking Crew he played on the Beach Boy's Pet Sounds album as well as hundreds of top 40 hits beginning in the late 1950s. Bill's ukulele can be...
Jack Shallat was a professional violin player who landed several gigs with traveling bands in the 1930s and 40s.  During that time he met Buddy Rogers and both men opened separate music stores in and around Cincinnati in the early 1950s.  In 1967 they decided to merge their businesses and work...
 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...

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