Women in the Music Industry

Bitsie Werlein was the last president of the famed Werlein’s For Music in New Orleans. When its doors closed in 2003 it was the nation’s oldest operating music retailer. The company was established in 1862 during the Civil War when the Union Navy blockaded New Orleans harbor. During her years as...
Rose Wernes Drake traveled with her husband, Ivor, when he became the second salesperson hired for the Winter Piano Company following World War II. He often said the company got two for the price of one as she soon became as good an asset to the company as he was. It was Ivor’s idea to train her on...
Eleanor West and her husband Pearl established a music store in Iowa City just a year after getting married in 1940. Eleanor was the bookkeeper in the early years of West Music Company and was known to make a penny last during the Great Depression and World War II. She also played an important...
Katie Wheeler was an early volunteer of the Museum of Making Music in the NAMM headquarters in Carlsbad, California.  Her docent experience with the museum gave Katie the opportunity to work across the lobby in the NAMM Resource Center.  Her personal interest in documentation and organization was...
Lynn White may downplay the role she has played within their family’s music store business, but for all those who have been to White House of Music, her spark and passion for music are very evident.  Her husband’s father opened a small music store in Waukesha, Wisconsin back in 1953 in order to...
Diana White is like so many factory workers within the music industry because most of her friends and many members of her own family have worked in the same plant over the years.  Diana is very proud of her work and the skills she has gained over the years, especially those related to CNC work in...
Joan White began her career with Muncie Music Center in 1944, just three years after the store opened. She remained with the store until her retirement in 2016.  Although she started by organizing the sheet music department, Joan (pronounced Jo-Ann) assisted with all areas of the business.  One of...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Margaret Whiting was a popular singer who had a number of hit recordings in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Her father was the noted songwriter Richard Whiting who penned...
Laura Whitmore’s passion for music began at a young age, learning to play guitar and writing songs as a teenager. She attended Hofstra University where she earned a B.S. in Music Merchandising and an MBA in Marketing. Laura worked for CBS Records and Korg, where she rose through the ranks of...
Jody Whyte recalls fondly sitting in the family store as a child watching her grandfather repair pianos and then he would make banana pancakes for her. Those memories took on extra meaning after his passing and when her mother, Wendy Hutchings, asked if Jody would join her in the business and apply...

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