Music Retail

Harold Winkler was raised in the music publishing industry.  His father, Max Winkler, worked his way up from stock boy at Carl Fischer to be president of famed Belwin Music Publishing Company in New York.  As a strong supporter of the emerging school music market following World War II, Harold...
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...
 Luella Derwin was one of the first women owners of a music store in America.  In 1937, when her bandleader husband Hal Derwin went on the road, Luella was left behind, “So one day I was thinking of all the fun we had with musicians who would come to town and look for a local place to have their...
Vicki Pedrini grew up in the family’s music retail store in Southern California. She worked in the store on weekends and summer vacations as well as the holiday season, which brought fun times when the family all worked together. The store had a strong band and orchestra department, as it was...
Tom Pedrini and his sister Vicki were third generation music retail owners. Their store, Pedrini’s Music, was located in Southern California and had a long and successful influence on the music community it served for so long. Due to changing times and strong competition, Tom and Vicki made the...
Chip Averwater took over the music retail business in Memphis, just as his father did and his son would one day, keeping the tradition in the family. Chip’s passion for the music business expanded beyond the store and out into volunteer positions for several organizations including NAMM. Serving on...
James Kleeman was called the “Professor” around the NAMM headquarters. He was thought of respectfully for his role in establishing NAMM’s professional development department. While serving as NAMM’s President from 1983-1985, Jim played a significant role in establishing the way NAMM served its...
George Gruhn is without question one of the top experts of vintage guitars on the planet! George collected guitars before opening the world renowned Gruhn Guitar Shop in Nashville, TN in the early 1970s. Since that time he has authored several historical reference guides and thousands of articles...
Lowell Samuel was the quintessential music man! He devoted his life to creating school band programs in the small towns of Illinois before and after World War II. After serving as a band director, he opened Samuel Music in 1946, which allowed him to continue to support both students and band...
Mil Averwater was the founder of Amro Music in Memphis, Tennessee. His grandson, Chip, had the forethought to record his grandfather on audio tape talking about the early days of the store. Chip has donated this interview for the NAMM website to allow us to bridge each generation of Averwater’s who...

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