Library - In Memoriam

Remembering oral history interviewees who have passed away.

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.

Jerry Trestman grew up in a musical home, in fact his older brother played saxophone for several of the big bands during the swing era.

Lazy Lester developed a unique style of blues harmonica playing that has influenced the beginner as well as the professional performer. His early recordings of his own songs led to his long relationship with the Hohner Company.

Jack Costanzo, also known as Mr. Bongo, nearly single-handedly (sorry for the pun) brought the bongo to enormous popularity in the 1950s.

Howard Durbin was hired by RCA following World War II and worked within the engineering department on improving the phonograph record.  He was assigned to the team that addressed unbreakable 78s and later on the team that developed the 45 record and still later the Red Seal LP. 

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

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