Deceased

This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Memo Bernabei led a popular society orchestra during the great Big Band Era. As a saxophonist, Memo cut his teeth within such bands as those lead by Jan Garber and Ray...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Johnny Best started off learning the piano but switched to trumpet when he was 13. During his impressive career as a sideman in the big bands, Johnny played with several...
Charles Bickel was working on the bench at Selmer when George Bundy decided to try a different plastic emulsion for his idea of a plastic clarinet. The first try was not successful. Mr. Bickel recalled the look in Bundy’s eyes when the first Resonate clarinet was tested, “We all started to clap and...
Miriam Bienstock was one of three founders of Atlantic Records, which set the stage for over 60 years of recordings of primarily black artists. In the early years this was one of the only labels giving opportunities for the likes of Ruth Brown and Ray Charles to be heard!  Miriam ran the office and...
Paul Bierley was a leading expert and author on the life and music of John Philip Sousa. A passionate fan of band music, Paul noticed several elements of Sousa’s career that were not documented. With his own publishing company, he penned several books on the March King’s life, including unearthed...
Zeb Billings opened Billings Pianos in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1956 beginning a long and celebrated career in the music industry.  With great success as a retailer, Zeb branched out into publishing when he saw the need to include packets of sheet music in the bench of every piano sold.  The idea...
Terry Bingley was a leader in the Canadian Music Products Industry for several decades. He began his career when he formed a music retail store before working with Yamaha and, later, serving as the Managing Director of Kawai.  He helped to establish Kawai Canada. In 1984, Terry formed a music...
George Bishop had the idea of bringing the Canadian music industry together in 1971. With the help of some friends, the Musical Instrument Association of Canada (MIAC) was established not only to provide an annual trade show but to provide music advocacy throughout the country. George served as the...
Hal Blaine was perhaps the most recorded drummer from the California recording studios of the 1950s-'70s.  His influential style can be heard on more than 170 number one hit songs and 450 tunes that made the top 40 on the charts during those decades.  His beat can be heard on hundreds of albums by...
Crane Bodine’s father, Elmer, was a piano man who formed a retail store in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1933. When Crane was 17 years old, he began working in the store. In 1962, he took over as president shortly after his father’s passing. Crane became a pioneer in the organ business, both as a...

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