Vignette

The harmonica is a free wind instrument used in several genres of music worldwide. The reeds are pre-tuned to individual pitches, which can be done by changing the length or stiffness of the reed.  Bending, tongue blocking, over bending, and lip pursing (among several others) are different...
Accordions make a sound when the bellows are expanded or compressed with air, while pressing keys causing the pallets to open.  The air moves across the strips of reeds, allowing them to vibrate. Often people associate the accordion with polka-type music, but really they can be heard in a variety...
Band Instrument Repair Technicians are always working behind the scenes to save the day when instruments come in damaged and in need of some repair.  They are the ones that have all the crazy and interesting stories, like in this clip you will hear a story about how a police officer once ran over...
Music Stores are the first glimpse into the music industry for many of us, and often ignite the passion to play. This compilation from the Oral History archives features memories of music stores from industry greats such as John R. Smith, Jerry Harrison, Brian Setzer, John Scofield, B.B. King, and...
Out in the village of Bubenreuth, Germany lays the incredible history of a group of independent luthiers who in reinventing themselves after World War II helped produce hand-crafted musical instruments that inspired music and music makers ever since. Within the NAMM Oral History collection we have...
The piano sticker program was a NAMM program in the late 20's to the 30's and again briefly in the 1950's. The sticker program was an effort to authenticate dealers and pianos in a time when there was stenciling (counterfeit branding) of pianos and some disreputable dealers. Unfortunately, we do...
Long time music store owner and rights advocate, Fat Dog, was looking for a way to pay tribute to his all-time favorite blues musician, Howlin’ Wolf. Howlin’ Wolf was born Chester Arthur Burnett on June 10, 1910 in Clay County, Mississippi. He went on to record a series of songs that helped...
jj Babbitt Co. Inc. was established in 1919 by Jesse James Babbitt and as of 2019, as the family owned and operated company embarks on their 100th year in business, they are preparing for the fourth generation to take over the business. As one of the world’s oldest manufacturers of mouthpieces for...
Being a woman in the music industry has not always been easy. These women innovators have not only broken the glass ceiling but helped pave the way for others to follow. These ten influential women share what it was like for them as they were braking into the industry and how they have worked to...
This video vignette was created to serve as a tribute to Jazz guitarist Joe Beck (1945-2008). Joe was helpful in the early days of the NAMM Oral History Program but due to his health was never interviewed. To show our appreciation for his role in helping us, we asked his friend Jimmy Bruno for his...

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