World War II

Murray Sunshine was a legend in the New York music retailing business. As an employee of Manny’s Music, hired by Manny himself, Murray witnessed first hand the growth of 48th Street as a music center for not only the country but the world. Murray later opened his own chain of stores on Long Island...
Artur Teller created a successful career by producing highly regarded violin bridges and supplying them to luthiers in and around his hometown of Bubenreuth, Germany. Like many of the instrument builders he sold to, Artur and his family moved to Bubenreuth after World War II as the small town...
Bernie Vance played the saxophone in a number of big bands during the swing era. He was drafted and served during World War II, only to come home and find that musical tastes had changed. The big band era was over so Bernie turned to what he knew best, his horn. If he couldn’t play it for a...
Lester Wagner began in the woodworking and sanding department of the C. F. Martin Guitar Company before World War II. He moved from the North Street Plant in 1964 to the bigger manufacturing plant in the current location on Sycamore Street in Nazareth, PA. Lester was assigned to the ukulele...
Saul Walker’s career in the field of electronics went back to the early sound designs before World War II. As an engineer he was trained in the United States Navy and worked on several important projects including early sound recordings and the use of what would become transistor technology. Saul...
Guy Ward was the president of the Ward Piano Company, located in Canton, North Carolina, from the 1940s until his retirement.  After his daughter and son took over the company, he continued to go into the shop every day even at the time of his 2013 NAMM Oral History interview when he was 89!  As...
Bill Wellborn was honored with the National Piano Traveler’s Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 for his dedication to the industry. As a piano salesman, Bill has traveled the country for a number of different piano manufacturers such as PA Stark, Story & Clark and Young Chang. His...
John Wessel was born in Holland and recalled with a stern face his World War II memories of running from the Nazi's. He was just one step ahead of the SS on several occasions. After the war he relocated to America where he found a sponsor in the Estey Organ Company. Before the war John had worked...
Henry Wickham knew the secret of a good sounding piano, the cast iron plates. For decades Henry was the president of the Wickham Piano Company in Ohio, where many of the plates for Steinway and other companies were created. It was Henry Z. Steinway who strongly suggested to the NAMM staff that Mr....
Don Wilson always enjoyed being around music, as a player, teacher, retailer, and as an award-winning baton twirler. He opened his music store in 1956 with the dream of running his business, raising his family, and staying close to the music he loved. In 2006, he reflected that his dreams did come...

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