Deceased

Edith De Forest was associated with the Pratt-Read Company for over 70 years! She began working for the piano keys and action manufacturer in the early 1930s. Even after her retirement in the 1980s, she continued to work for the company’s museum. She later served as the company historian doing all...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Frank De Vol was a noted arranger who took jazz to television and the movies and incorporated top musicians within Hollywood studio work whenever he could.  Frank began...
James Decker had been an active music maker ever since performing with his mother on radio broadcasts while he was a child. Over the years, he continued his pursuit of music study and eventually developed into one of the most sought-after symphonic hornists in the country. Jim later worked in...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Barrett Deems was the energetic drummer of the big band era who played with Red Norvo, Muggsy Spanier, and Jimmy Dorsey. While touring as a member of Louis Armstrong's All...
Buddy DeFranco’s clarinet style helped to legitimize the instrument in the post-swing era as a modern jazz instrument and his techniques have been a major influence on performers ever since the late 1940s. Buddy’s powerful tone and unique approach to phrasing gave rise to the clarinet’s strong...
Milton DeLugg wrote many remarkable and popular songs such as "Orange Blossom Sky," recorded by Nat King Cole. He wrote TV theme songs and stacks of movie music. All the while, he was working with and becoming friends with the great American tunesmiths, being one of them himself. Luckily for our...
Martin Denny cornered the market on the musical style of the early 1950s known as exotica. The smooth melody of the songs were enhanced by hundreds of different tropical sounding instruments, jungle noises and the call of birds. Martin began his musical career as a composer and piano playing...
Sam Denov retired as the percussionist and timpanist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra after playing with the group in concerts, on the road and in recordings beginning in 1954.  Sam helped bring cymbal playing to a new level of recognition and professionalism when he wrote “The Art of Playing...
 Luella Derwin was one of the first women owners of a music store in America.  In 1937, when her bandleader husband Hal Derwin went on the road, Luella was left behind, “So one day I was thinking of all the fun we had with musicians who would come to town and look for a local place to have their...
Gary DeShazo began his musical career as a Texas bandmaster and then worked with James Caldwell, the founder of Caldwell Music. With a great understanding of the educators’ needs, Gary soon developed lasting relationships with band directors over the entire state and beyond. In 1969, he bought...

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