World War II

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...
Masani Yanagisawa’s father formed the Pearl Drum Company in Japan just after World War II. Masani applied his marketing knowledge to assist in the growth and development of the company. Working with his brother, who served as president, they built the brand name out of a pure OEM business to...
Dr. Carlton Young has had a most interesting career as an editor and arranger of church music for hymnals and for music publishers such as Hope Music.  His passion for church music began in his childhood and continued to grow and develop after college.  He served as editor for two editions of the...
Bob Ziems (it sounds like "seems as in Ziems it seems") was a dedicated member of the testing department at CG Conn from 1941-1971 and later with Selmer. However, it was what he did for a hobby that became most important to the NAMM Resource Center. As early as 1937, Bob took photographs of every...
Ralph Zumpano worked in the Kenosha, Wisconsin, LeBlanc plant most of his professional career. Ralph married Vito Pascucci’s sister and was alongside Vito from the very beginning of the opening of LeBlanc in the United States in 1947. Over his long career Ralph held many positions, becoming Vito’s...

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