Library - In Memoriam

Remembering oral history interviewees who have passed away.

Toyomasa Namikawa was the founder and chairman of the board for the Japan music publisher Teine Corp., which was named after his initials. He dedicated his life to providing students and teachers with band instrument publications throughout Japan.

Dave Luce grew up in a musical home and in fact wrote his doctoral thesis on the analysis of musical instruments back in 1959.  As an interesting side note, that thesis was sponsored in part by NAMM.  Dave set out to study nuclear physics when he saw a bulletin board listing for

Ikutaro Kakehashi, the founder of Roland Corporation, created more than a successful business with a host of important innovations in electronic musical instruments; he has also paid tribute throughout his career to those who first inspired him. Mr.

 Cam Miller established himself as a respected music critic and journalist who was a long-time supporter of countless jazz festivals and concerts for over five decades.

Katinka Lathrop was married for over 60 years to a guitar player with a passion. After he retired from the ceramics industry, the couple moved to Modesto, California, where they opened a small retail shop.

Jesse Flores was the founder of Flores Music stores located in Peoria and Pekin, Illinois. He had the idea of surrounding himself with music when he was a young boy and when the chance came to open a store, he took it. The year was 1957.

James Cotton learned the blues from many of the greatest artists in recorded history! As a result his style of playing is our link to the early development of the music form, especially those influences in the years following World War II.

Lyle Ritz worked for a Los Angeles music store in the 1950s when his career as a studio musician began to take off. Lyle’s studio years were filled with numerous ground-breaking hits, many featuring his influential electric bass. His incredible list of recordings includes “I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher and the Beach Boys “Good Vibrations.” In the 1980s, Lyle returned to his first musical love, the ukulele, thanks to the urging of Flea Market Music founder and ukulele historian Jim Beloff.

Wally Pikal may have been the only music retailers who played on the Johnny Carson Show!  Wally opened his store, Wally Pikal Music, in Hutchinson, Minnesota in 1964.  Up to that time he had been a sought-after bandleader and trumpeter in and around the Midwest.  One of his trick

Les Ray was a well spoken advocate for music education. As the founder of ASM Music Schools in Florida, he created a respected educational program that includes some 2,500 students each week. He had strong feelings about the importance of the process in learning to play a musical instrument. Mr. Ray ensured that all children were given the chance to participate and designed programs for those children with special needs. One of the strongest elements of his program, which continue since his passing, is that all children have a private lesson as well as a group lesson to ensure they are provided the elements of playing together, making friends, and having fun.