Full Interview

Bob Taylor enrolled in wood shop while a student in high school and made a guitar for his final grade. The idea of making his own guitars came easy to Bob and he set out to create his own style of guitars. Many of his friends told him he could not compete with long standing companies, but Bob...
Walter Fuller played trumpet for Earl “Fatha” Hines when Earl, a pianist, formed his first big band in 1936. Walter gained fame as trumpet player and singer on several of the band’s hit recordings. During our interview, Walter spoke of working in clubs owned by mobsters, bringing the Chicago style...
Henry Z. Steinway was quite articulate when speaking about the incredible history of the Steinway and Sons Piano Company. One could say that he lived all elements of being a Steinway as the former president of the Steinway Company. His love for music led to the creation of the board of the NAMM ...
Bud Reglein’s uncle formed a small mouthpiece company in Elkhart, IN and named it J.J. Babbitt as he felt it sounded better than Jessie James Babbitt. Bud took over the company in 1939 and, in the 1940s, engineered a custom facing machine to ensure each mouthpiece made could be consistent, thus...
DJ Fontana drove down to Houston in a pink Cadillac with Elvis Presley after being hired as the then unknown singer’s first drummer. They pulled up to Herbie Brodstein’s Drum Shop (Herb would later form Pro-Mark Drum Sticks) to buy a kit. After playing on all of the sets Herb had out on display,...
Billy Carson was listed in the Guinness book of world records for growing the largest watermelon ever weighed. And if you think that is something, consider the fact that Billy also worked with Leo Fender in streamlining the Stratocaster electric guitar in the early 1950s. As a country player in...
Robert Fletcher served as the chairman of the NAMM Board of Directors the first time the position title was changed from president to chairman. As an industry leader Bob developed the Fletcher Music Centers into a successful chain with a strong focus on customer service and lesson programs. Bob was...
Remo Belli revolutionized the music products industry by introducing the Weather King, the single most popular drumhead in the world! As a jazz drummer, Remo was looking for ways to improve the percussive products he was using. Once his team of chemists found the perfect formula, Remo took it...
Paul Tanner joined Glenn Miller's newly formed band in 1938 and recorded all of the band's hits including "In the Mood" and "String of Pearls."  He often said "Everything the Glenn Miller Orchestra did from 1938-1942, I did."  When Glenn signed on to lead the military band during the war, the...
Don Leslie, the inventor of the very successful Leslie Speaker, was pleased with the concept of the product that was a simple idea but a tricky design. As a child, Don was fascinated by the large pipe organs and how the sound traveled all around the listener. He had the goal of bringing that...

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