Library - In Memoriam

Remembering oral history interviewees who have passed away.

Guy Ward was the president of the Ward Piano Company, located in Canton, North Carolina, from the 1940s until his retirement.  After his daughter and son took over the company, he continued to go into the shop every day even at the time of his 2013 NAMM Oral History interview whe

Allan Holdsworth was the influential electric guitarist who played a vital role within the music products industry as both an endorser and instrument designer.

Toyomasa Namikawa was the founder and chairman of the board for the Japan music publisher Teine Corp., which was named after his initials. He dedicated his life to providing students and teachers with band instrument publications throughout Japan.

Dave Luce grew up in a musical home and in fact wrote his doctoral thesis on the analysis of musical instruments back in 1959.  As an interesting side note, that thesis was sponsored in part by NAMM.  Dave set out to study nuclear physics when he saw a bulletin board listing for

Ikutaro Kakehashi, the founder of Roland Corporation, created more than a successful business with a host of important innovations in electronic musical instruments; he has also paid tribute throughout his career to those who first inspired him. Mr.

Katinka Lathrop was married for over 60 years to a guitar player with a passion. After he retired from the ceramics industry, the couple moved to Modesto, California, where they opened a small retail shop.

Jesse Flores was the founder of Flores Music stores located in Peoria and Pekin, Illinois. He had the idea of surrounding himself with music when he was a young boy and when the chance came to open a store, he took it. The year was 1957.

James Cotton learned the blues from many of the greatest artists in recorded history! As a result his style of playing is our link to the early development of the music form, especially those influences in the years following World War II.

Lyle Ritz worked for a Los Angeles music store in the 1950s when his career as a studio musician began to take off. Lyle’s studio years were filled with numerous ground-breaking hits, many featuring his influential electric bass. His incredible list of recordings includes “I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher and the Beach Boys “Good Vibrations.” In the 1980s, Lyle returned to his first musical love, the ukulele, thanks to the urging of Flea Market Music founder and ukulele historian Jim Beloff.

Wally Pikal may have been the only music retailers who played on the Johnny Carson Show!  Wally opened his store, Wally Pikal Music, in Hutchinson, Minnesota in 1964.  Up to that time he had been a sought-after bandleader and trumpeter in and around the Midwest.  One of his trick

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