Fender Musical Instruments Corp

Brad Townsend always had a love for music and remembers growing up with music all around him. He opened a retail music store/lesson studio and also had an extensive career at Fender Musical Instruments for 18 years. While at Fender Brad dealt with domestic and international sales as well as...
Jimmie Vaughan took time from his 2020 tour schedule for his NAMM Oral History interview during which he spoke about his early days as a musician. Jimmie recounted his Uncles playing music while he was growing up as well as some of his influences including bluesman Freddie King who would later...
Donnie Wade "borrowed" his parent’s car when he was 14 years old to drive to a bar so he could hear Freddie King play the guitar! That experience and an earlier encounter with Merle Travis marked the beginning of his passion for the guitar! That passion took him from his own retail shop in Texas to...
Sam Wangler ran a music store in Bismarck, North Dakoda for 35 years before his retirement.  He taught himself guitar after hearing "Walk Don't Run" by the Ventures as a kid.  He later played in several bands in and around the area, and the passion he had for playing transferred into music...
Nate Watts grew up in Detroit, Michigan when Motown was in full swing, and it proved to be a major inspiration for the bass legend. In 1974 Nate was summoned by Stevie Wonder to join his band and his first recording session with Stevie was on the classic album Songs In The Key of Life. Nate has...
Mark Wentling is the CEO and President of Ashly Audio in upstate New York.  As an engineer Mark established himself within the industry as a creative and passionate contributor to such companies as MXR, Fender and the Music Man.  The amp products he worked on in those early days continue to...
Speedy West was inducted into the Pedal Steel Guitar Hall of Fame as one of the instrument’s most innovative performers. He was able to apply his unique style to country, jazz, and popular music. As a driving force on classic recordings with Jimmy Bryant, Speedy was also a long time product...
Curtis White was 11 years old when his father, Forrest White, resigned from Fender Guitar Company. Curtis remembers being devastated and wondering what the family would do since Fender was such a big part of his life. Forrest was one of the early employees of the guitar maker, located in Fullerton...
Don Wilson is 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...
Will Woo started playing in rock groups at an early age as did his brother, Allan. Allan and Will played in the band, Hamster Farm and in 1980, Will joined the UK chart topping synth band, A Flock of Seagulls. He went on to get a dream job in a local music store, Frets, where he set up guitars as...

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