Norlin Corporation

Arnold Berlin was a one-time president of Chicago Musical Instruments (CMI) and co-founder of Norlin Music Corp. He is also Mr. M.H. Berlin’s son, one of the true icons of the industry. Arnie spoke of how his father got started in the industry as well as how he was able to grow the company into... more
Jim Broadus was a true fan of the Gibson guitar he purchased as a kid growing up and chasing his dream to be a rock star. He was overjoyed in the early 1970s when he had the opportunities to work for the company. He traveled as a sales rep for Gibson before working in music retail in downtown... more
Jim Connors joined Norlin Corp. originally as the head of the Lowery Organ factories. With his strong background in manufacturing and process control, Jim was able to keep up with the 25% growth the company was experiencing each year. Under Jim’s watch, the company created a new Lowery factory in... more
Alberto Kniepkamp engineered many of the electronic organs produced by the Lowrey Organ Company in the 1970s and 80s. Alberto took an active role in the development of the MX1 Lowrey Organ, which was introduced at the NAMM Show in 1979. The product was one of many engineered by Alberto, who began... more
Dave Luce grew up in a musical home and in fact wrote his doctoral thesis on the analysis of musical instruments back in 1959.  As an interesting side note, that thesis was sponsored in part by NAMM.  Dave set out to study nuclear physics when he saw a bulletin board listing for a research study on... more
Michael Nugent is the former president of Norlin Corporation. He joined the company when it was still Chicago Musical Instrument Corporation (CMI). M.H. Berlin, CMI’s founder, had purchased a few instrument lines to expand the company’s keyboard products department. Mr. Berlin’s son, Arnie,... more
David Seville loved the music industry because he loved music!  He was born in Birmingham UK and became a well-known opera singer both in recordings and such live performances as Wells Cathedral. During our interview, he recalls his transition from singing to a long and enjoyable career with Selmer... more
Billy Wennlund and his brother Don made up one of the most iconic sales teams in the music products industry. Don was the salesman, the guy with the pitch and Billy knew the products inside out. Together they helped establish the Lowrey Organ in the home market. They were both born in DeKalb, IL... more
Jim Whitehill provided a very important overview of the products and politics of the Norlin Music Company, which was originally named Chicago Musical Instruments (CMI) when Mr. M.H. Berlin formed the company in the 1920s. In the late 1960s and early 70s, the Norlin company, headed by Mr. Berlin’s... more
Christopher Willcox was once a classical actor on the British stage. He was a teacher and writer, but feels his favorite job is that of piano salesman. For well over 35 years, he has done just that. Mr. Willcox stated, “Providing music in someone’s life is a pleasure because I know it will... more