Library - In Memoriam

Remembering oral history interviewees who have passed away.

Ron Tutt is best known for playing drums behind Elvis Presley during most of the king’s tours during the 1970s. Ron grew up with a deep passion for music and the drums, which led him to audition for Elvis as he was putting a band together for his Las Vegas comeback.

Dex Johnson grew up in the music retail business. His mother and father formed their store, Mississippi Music, after World War II and his father became an industry leader, even serving as President of NAMM in the 1970s.

Jim Widner was given a very special opportunity to join his grade school’s orchestra, which provided him an instrument to play. His love of music was fostered years later when he became a student of his highly influential high school band director.

Dr. Lonnie Smith was among the well respected organists who endeared himself within the music products industry as a master of the Hammond B3, who often demonstrated his skills for fellow musicians. He was a regular performer at the NAMM Shows since the 1960s. Dr.

Joe Swenson played trumpet in grade school and was influenced by his mother who played the piano and gave lessons.  While earning his degree in trumpet performance in college, Joe worked in a local music store where his interest in piano tuning began.  He befriended the store’s p

Bob Moore’s bass can be heard on countless recordings made in Nashville during the 1950s through the 1980s.  As a member of studio musicians known as the A Team, Bob played on recordings with everyone from Patsy Cline to Elvis Presley.  In the 1960s he had a string of hits with h

Colin Bailey famously played brushes on the song “Linus and Lucy” by Vince Guaraldi, which was made popular thanks to the Peanuts cartoon television specials. His long career included gigs with Miles Davis, Clare Fischer, Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra and George Shearing.

Holger Siems had a prolific career in music publishing. Beginning in his native Germany, Holger worked for several top publishing firms in key positions. Among his many accomplishments included establishing the United States branch of G. Henle Press.

Melvin Dunlap played bass on several classic soul and R&B recordings beginning in the early 1970s.

Randy "Baja" Fletcher was a well respected production manager of live events who won the 2010 Parnelli Life Time Achievement Award for his dedication to the industry.  His long and passionate career included work with ZZ Top, Randy Travis and the entire touring career of Brooks &

Pages