Drums

Joan Ellman and her husband, Gil, established Ellman’s Music Center in 1958. Five years later the store moved to Naperville, Illinois, where it is located today. Joan kept the books and inventory as well as managing the store when Gil would call on schools and travel for industry meetings. She has...
Gil Ellman grew up in the big band era, loving the sounds of large orchestras. He was motivated to create as many opportunities for students to make music as possible. He studied band instrument repair before opening Ellman’s Music Center in 1958. Soon after the store opened Gil began creating his...
Peter Heid enjoyed his career playing with many of the dance bands of the 1930s and 1940s in his hometown of Appleton, Wisconsin. After the war, he used his love of music to open a small store, Heid Music, in the heart of downtown Appleton. The store continued to grow over the years as Peter found...
John LaBouve’s background is in business and marketing. When he married into the Goodell Family, he took a chance at working in his father-in-law’s music store, Goodell Music in Sheboygan, WI. He began in 1974 and soon took over the store as president and owner. During the interview, John discussed...
Walt Johnston was best known throughout the industry for his role in introducing the Pearl Drum Company to the United States. After a gig selling band instruments, Walt was hired by CMI to bring the Pearl kits to the American market. His success was based on several elements, not the least of which...
Dan Mahoney is the president of Music Corp, a strong music wholesaler founded by industry veteran, Eddy Toporek. Dan came to the industry from the office supply world and brought with him a clear vision of the role Music Corp could and should play within the vastly changing world of the early 2000s...
Tommy Moore was introduced to the music industry by his father, Woods Moore, who operated Alt’s Music store in Fort Worth, TX. After earning a degree in finance, Tommy returned to the store upon his father’s request to investigate other aspects of the music industry that might interest him. Tommy...
Ray Ayotte was born in Millardville Canada where as a youngster he began playing drums for rock bands he formed with schoolmates. Throughout his early playing days, Ray made little adjustments to his kit and learned that other players enjoyed the changes and sounds he could make. He dreamed of one...
Jesse Flores was the founder of Flores Music stores located in Peoria and Pekin, Illinois. He had the idea of surrounding himself with music when he was a young boy and when the chance came to open a store, he took it. The year was 1957. Jesse saw the rise of the electric guitar and the home organ...
Takashi “Hagi” Hagiwara has been called the “godfather of Yamaha drums” as the unofficial ambassador of the company’s percussive products around the world.  His father was a silversmith in Tokyo, a profession he was thought to continue, however he decided to take a part time job as a teenager in a...

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