Library - In Memoriam

Remembering oral history interviewees who have passed away.

Byron Autrey loved to tell you everything you needed to know about how a trumpet works, and I mean everything! Byron studied the craft of trumpet design for decades, having been a player all of his life.  

Lou Curtiss was a long time supporter of American folk music and in fact, he helped coin the phrase “roots music.” For over 30 years he created, arranged and promoted the annual folk music festival in San Diego beginning in 1967.

Arne Berg always thought of himself more as an inventor than an engineer, but nevertheless, his forward thinking and creative designs led to a number of successful products in the pro audio market for Concertone, Fostex and a company he helped establish called TASCAM.  Arne’s pas

Gotthold Meyer became a very successful German wholesaler when he and his wife formed the 'Gotthold Meyer' company, which later on became 'Musik-Meyer'.  His visionary thinking led to strong international relationships and partnerships around the world.  Gotthold was a key player in the export of musical instruments made in Germany to ports in the west and elsewhere in the difficult decades following World War II.  Gotthold has also played an important role in the expansion of the NAMM Oral History collection and the

Buzz Tarpley grew up in the music business. His grandmother was selling pianos as early as 1917 in West Texas. The Tarpley family officially opened a music store in 1927 in Pampa, Texas.

C. Darby Fulton’s father opened a music store, which seemed the perfect place for Darby growing up. He enjoyed the business and worked with his father as the company grew into 26 locations during the boom of the home organ craze in the 1960s.

Bob Bain played with a number of the big bands during the golden era of swing before he became the iconic studio session player in Los Angeles.  His session playing is well known for a wide range of famous gigs, such as playing for Audrey Hepburn as she sang "Moon River" in the m

Kazuo Kashio was president of the Casio Musical Instrument Company during the heyday of electronic keyboard sales. The company produced some innovative products during that time and continues today to focus on product design and innovations. Mr.

DJ Fontana drove down to Houston in a pink Cadillac with Elvis Presley after being hired as the then unknown singer’s first drummer. They pulled up to Herbie Brodstein’s Drum Shop (Herb would later form Pro-Mark Drum Sticks) to buy a kit.

Eddy Clearwater was a teenager when he left Mississippi to live with his uncle in Chicago.  There he discovered his love for the blues.  As a guitarist, Eddy became a sought after session player in the area.  As a songwriter, Eddy added to the modern blues movement in the 1950’s

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