Wurlitzer

John Riley grew up playing music and earned a business degree in Boston.  He applied for a job at the Wurlitzer retail store and was hired by a man named Bob Fletcher.  When Bob moved to Florida to open a Lowrey Organ retail store, John joined him.  Bob later established the Fletcher Music Center...
Ron Sfarzo may be the only interviewee within the NAMM Oral History collection who served as a police officer in California!  Ron has been involved with music his entire life, with both his father and brother involved with music retail.  While working in his brother’s San Francisco store, Ron was...
Lowell Simpson spent his entire life in music. As a child he played music as well as sang and in fact, continued to sing over the decades even after working as a sales manager for several industry manufacturers. From 1965 until 1978 he served as a sales rep for the Wurlitzer Company. He traveled...
Anna Sipavich was a real life Rosie the Riveter with ties to the music products industry. She was a factory worker at the Wurlitzer Company in DeKalb, IL, when the Second World War broke out. As talk of lay-offs floated around the company in the early days of the war, a government job soon...
Sue Smith met her future husband, Craig, when they were both teenagers, working part-time demonstrating Wurlitzer organs at Karnes Music in the Chicago area.  Craig was the senior member of the "Whiz Kids", (talented organ students that performed at fairs and outside promotions) and Sue was a...
Craig Smith began piano lessons at the age seven and by the time he was twelve, was fascinated with the sounds of the home organ. He started demonstrating organs for Karnes Music at thirteen and worked there part-time through high school. During his college years, Craig continued to work part-time...
Millie Swanson was known as “The Sweetheart of Wurlitzer.” She joined the company in 1931 as an office clerk while still in high school. Over the years, as Wurlitzer grew into the largest musical instrument maker in the world, Millie was promoted to assistant to Mr. Wurlitzer and served in that...
Leona Yousling was married to one of the most beloved members of the Wurlitzer Company team of the 1960s and 70s, John Yousling. John created many of the sales training classes, which he provided in several countries over 2 decades, becoming an influential teacher to many who have later became...

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