Deceased

Allee Willis wrote a number of successful songs that have become part of the fabric of pop music. Allee either wrote or co-wrote songs such as “September” by Earth Wind & Fire, the theme for the sitcom Friends entitled “I’ll Be there for You,” the Broadway musical The Color Purple, and "Neutron...
Betty Bennett was inspired to pursue a career in music when she was brought along to gigs by her mother and was allowed to sing with her. After Betty’s first paying gig, making 50 cents for singing a song, she would continue singing throughout her high school and college years, hitting it big when...
Morris Diamond sat down with us for his NAMM Oral History interview at the age of 97 and recalled his career in music which started when he was 15 years old. He was hired to be the “band boy” for the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra one month after the famous bandleader hired a then unknown singer by the...
Ken Hyams was a key franchise owner of Altec Lansing in the early days of consumer electronics. He worked for a Los Angeles retailer for audio, consumer-electronic, products in the late 1940s and 1950s. While witnessing the growth and development of the audio industry, particularly with products...
Don Wilson was a founding member of the instrumental rock band, The Ventures! He formed the band with his friend Bob Bogle. Shortly after their first hit, “Walk Don’t Run,” Nokie Edwards, who was also interviewed for the NAMM Oral History program, joined the band. The band then went on to record...
Bonnie Guitar produced a series of hit recordings for her label, Dolton, in the 1950s and 60s. Among the labels most popular acts were the Fleetwoods and the Ventures. Bonnie even recorded a few of her own songs for her label, including “Candy Apple Red.” As a recording artist, Bonnie topped the...
Bob Olsen often said because he did not play a musical instrument yet had a successful career in the music products industry that he was “a vegetarian in the business of prime meat.” The fact is Bob became very passionate about the music companies he worked for, beginning with Hammond Organ and...
Conrad Janis played a music store owner on the hit TV sitcom Mork and Mindy. Conrad, who became a trombonist as a teenager, played Mindy’s father, the owner of a musical instrument store set in Colorado. Between takes, Conrad often jammed with Robin Williams who, according to Conrad, played a mean...
Ernst Lang married Paula Prüller 1958 in Luby, Czech Republic, formerly named Schönbach, and both came from families involved in the production of musical instruments. Ernst Lang’s father, Rudolf, made violins and violas while Paula’s father, Andreas Prüller, owned a company producing purflings for...
Otto Werner grew up surrounded by music. His dad, a violin maker in Schönbach, produced violins at home and sold them in Markneukirchen while his aunt worked at Junger Company, the main producer of strings in Schönbach. After 1946, she resettled first in Tennenlohe, then in Bubenreuth once the...

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