Library - In Memoriam
Remembering oral history interviewees who have passed away.
Robert Johnson served as a sales manager for Chicago Musical Instruments (CMI) when the company first acquired the noted violinmakers William Lewis & Son.
Johnny Mandel brought his unique talents as a composer and arranger from jazz clubs to the big screen during a brilliant career that spanned over 60 years!
Robert Rockley took over the music store that his parents had started in Denver, Colorado. Bob, along with his wife Nina, expanded the products they carried while he focused on growing the guitar department.
Jimmy Capps backed nearly every performer at the Grand Ole Opry as a house band guitarist since 1960!
Don Holcombe owned and operated several music stores during his long career. Among the most noted stores were those he opened with fellow salesman Russell Lindquist in and around Houston under the name Holcombe-Lindquist Piano and Organ.
Lauren Keiser was a passionate music publisher. He worked with many of the top publishing companies over his long and distinguished career including Alfred, Cherry Lane, Carl Fischer and his own firm the Keiser Music Publishing Company. In 2012 he purchased Southern Music and renamed the company Keiser Southern Music, where he worked long and hard to create new products taking advantage of developments in technology.
Donn Trenner was one of the most successful pianists in the big band and Bebop jazz eras. He began his career with the popular Ted Fio Rito Orchestra beginning in 1943. He later played with bands led by Buddy Morrow, Charlie Barnet and Jerry Gray.
Betty Wright was three years old when she was placed on a pile of phone books in a studio in order to reach the microphone when her family recorded gospel music. She began writing songs very young, many of which were performed by her siblings. In the 1960s, Betty made the move to
Zhi Cheng Tong served as the Chairman for Pearl River Pianos in China and was one of its longest-term employees. The company was established in 1956, and he joined the company just two years later. Mr.
Ray Hennig opened Heart of Texas Music in the early 1960s after years of repairing guitars for friends. He built homes in Texas and was happy with that line of work, but his passion was in music –and so he did both.