Library - In Memoriam

Remembering oral history interviewees who have passed away.

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.

Joe Keith felt that the local music teachers needed specialized service when it came to finding the tools they needed.  Along with his wife, Claudia, he opened The Music Mart in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with the goal of doing all that was possible to support music education and l

Herbert Volkmann like so many of his generation saw the horrors of war while growing up in Germany before and during World War II.

Paul Shelden was a Professor Emeritus in Music for Brooklyn College and both studied and taught music at Juilliard, beginning on clarinet and saxophone, but branching into electronic music on which he focused his doctorate.

Big George Brock knew all about laying his burden down. The blues musician was running his nightclub in 1970 when someone shot up the place to try and hit George. One of the bullets went through the wall and killed George's wife in the next room.

Bunny Kacher began volunteering at the NAMM Foundation’s Museum of Making Music in 2002 as part of the second docent training class (the museum opened in 2000).

Ed Boyer began working for Yamaha Corporation of America in 1983 with a focus on the band and orchestral products. With a strong background in retail, Ed developed long-lasting partnerships with dealers while working with them to gain relationships with area school directors.

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