Big Bands

Buddy Merrill played the pedal steel guitar on the Lawrence Welk TV program from its start in 1954 until he left the show in 1974. Buddy played Fender products while on the Welk Show, which was an exciting time as several key instrument innovations were released during this time, including the...
 Cam Miller established himself as a respected music critic and journalist who was a long-time supporter of countless jazz festivals and concerts for over five decades. Cam began his professional writing career with the Blade Tribune in Northern San Diego in 1954 as a freelance jazz writer before...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Eddie Miller was asked to take a break from his road travels with the big bands to visit Elkhart, Indiana.  The Selmer Band Instrument Company made the special request and...
Jackie Mills as a drummer put down the beat for jazz and big band stars such as Tommy Dorsey, Charlie Barnet, Dizzy Gillespie and Billie Holiday. As a record producer, he played a critical role in the careers of Janis Joplin, Irene Kral and Bobby Sherman. As the co-founder of Choreo Records (later...
Lou Mitchell was a product of the big band era and cut his teeth on swinging trumpet solos, such as those of his musical heroes of the 1930s. After meeting Rafael Mendez (his life-long friend), Lou moved to Hollywood and worked for the movie studios on countless soundtracks. He worked beside Rafael...
Fred Morgan was one of the few GI’s, returning home from World War II, who were accepted to the Conn School of Musical Instrument Repair the first year it started. The year was 1946 and Fred was excited to learn first hand at the factory from many of the craftsmen who built the instruments from the...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Ella Mae Morse was a vocalist for Jimmy Dorsey's Orchestra when she was just 14 years old. She went on to sing with Freddie Slack with whom she recorded a string of hits...
Dick Nash was a first call trombone player in the Los Angeles studios for several decades.  He played for over two thousand movies and TV programs and with a list of artists ranging from Ella Fitzgerald to Art Pepper.  Henry Mancini often used Dick on his movie projects including Peter Gunn and Mr...
Frank Nelson played trumpet and cornet during the swing era, touring with Alvino Rey’s Orchestra among others. He arranged music for the bands, both small groups and the larger outfits and worked on a wide range of materials during his long career. In later years he worked in recording studios,...
Sammy Nestico has revolutionized the band and orchestra repertoire by composing and arranging top jazz charts for all levels of bands. As a result, this arranger of Count Basie’s band in the 1950s is known as well to music fans in their 80s as he is to beginning music students in elementary school...

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