Centenarians

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...
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...
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...
William Tapia stood up in front of United States solders playing his ukulele and singing at the tender age of eight years old. He was entertaining the troops for World War I and did not stop playing until the year of his passing at the age of 103!  His life in music was almost as fasinating as his...
Orrin Tucker’s Orchestra recorded one of the greatest successes of the big band era, “Oh Johnny Oh.” This novelty number featured the shy voice of Wee Bonnie Baker and has come to symbolize the musical era and the social climate of America during the late 1930s and early 1940s. Orrin enjoyed a full...

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