Library - In Memoriam

Remembering oral history interviewees who have passed away.

Kurt Kaiser worked for Word Music beginning in 1959.  Not only did he witness many of the changes to church music, many credit him for creating what is now known as contemporary Christian music.  As an arranger and songwriter, Kurt worked with several leading church music artists

Jack Shallat was a professional violin player who landed several gigs with traveling bands in the 1930s and 40s.  During that time he met Buddy Rogers and both men opened separate music stores in and around Cincinnati in the early 1950s.  In 1967 they decided to merge their busin

Mitsuo Kasahara served as the first president of Yamaha Corporation of America after setting up the branch office in Southern California in 1961.  Three years earlier he established the first Yamaha office in Mexico as well!

Herb Remington was the steel guitarist for Bob Wills and the Texas Playboy who built his own line of guitars called Remington Steel.  Among his fascinating history: being long time personal friends with Leo Fender.  For a while, Fender made steel guitars and, in the beginning, Le

Dorothy Dunkley co-founded Dunkley Music Stores in Boise, Idaho, with her husband Bill. She took over the store while Bill was on the road selling pianos door to door in the early years of the store.

Giorgio Giannini proudly recalled the beginning of his family’s involvement in the music industry as part of his interview for the NAMM Oral History collection.  Mr.

Vivian Majeski had just married John when she visited the NAMM Show for the first time.  The year was 1951 and John, who would later follow in his father's footsteps as editor of The Music Trades magazine. He had returned from war just a few years earlier.

Big Jay McNeely was there when the emotions of rhythm and blues gave birth to rock and roll. His honkin' sax style gave raw and bold tones to the feelings behind the R&B and Jump Swing styles of the early 1950’s, all of which played a key role in the popular musical trends that would follow. 

Max Bennett was among the jazz world’s most percussive bass players. With a strong knowledge of drums, he explored and helped design the rhythm of jazz of the 1970's and 80's in the pre soft jazz era, a style he referred to as cool-whip.

Marv Drucker spent his early career in New York playing all types of venues from showrooms, to hotels, dives, clubs and theaters, more than you can imagine. Such performers were referred to as “musical journeyman,” and Marv was among the best.