Full Interview

Al Bell was in the Stax recording studio in Memphis at the very moment Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed just a few blocks away. Ironically, the recording Al was producing at that time was a song he wrote encouraging Dr. King, whom he had known for years, to be cautious carrying...
Deke Dickerson began his musical career when he started playing the saxophone, but quickly realized he was much more adept at playing the guitar. As a part of the affectionately named “68 Club” Deke reflects on how his formative year coincided with the revival of Rockabilly, which provided him with...
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...
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...
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...
Howard Reitzes was brought up on classical piano but found a true passion for playing when he discovered the Blues. After trying his hand at the guitar, Howard fell in love with keyboards when he saved up and purchased a Vox Super Continental Keyboard. At 15, he put together his first Blues band...
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...
Clay Barclay was associated with Crown International in Elkhart, Indiana for more than 40 years. As a kid, he took radios apart to see how they worked and has been fascinated with audio his entire life. He is a brain surgeon by trade but always worked in the field of electronics with the goal of...
David Kalt remembers, with a smile, the Fender Stratocaster he dreamed of as a kid. He also recalls that great day in 1985 when he finally got a 1970s Strat! The instrument has a special place in his own passion for music, an idea and feeling he never forgot. In fact, it was that passion for...

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