Library - In Memoriam
Remembering oral history interviewees who have passed away.
Grassella Oliphant was a drummer is entire life and it is what he loved to do. During his long career, he played back-up for a host of jazz and blues performers as well as singers such as Sarah Vaughan and Gloria Lynne. Beginning in the 1950s, Grassella’s long association with the drum industry began as an endorser of Ludwig and later with Rodgers.
Leon Rhodes was one of the most beloved country music guitarists in history. He established himself as a clever and hard driving musician as part of Ernest Tubb’s Texas Troubadours.
Bob Lozier began working at Freeman Companies with Howard Bailey in the 1960s to support the NAMM shows.
Mundell Lowe is deservedly listed in just about every jazz encyclopedia. With a powerful, yet relaxed, approach to his playing, Mundell helped revolutionize the jazz guitar sound in bebop and modern jazz.
Charles Slater had a rich background in music publishing, having worked with a number of companies before arriving at JW Pepper. At Pepper, Charles worked on many projects over the years and expanded his interest in the accounting department to the level of becoming the CFO. Hi
George Avakian produced so many pop and jazz recordings over his 50 plus year career with several labels it might be easier to list the recordings he did not take part in.
Tetsuya Takagi served as Executive Vice President of Yamaha International Corporation (currently Yamaha Corporation of America) and worked for Yamaha Corporation in Japan holding several important positions during his long and successful career. Mr.
Mark Kelly served on the Midwest Band Clinic board for over 30 years, beginning in the 1980s and played a vital role in the growth and popularity of the clinic and its programs. He attended his first Midwest program in 1954 and recalled with great details watching Harry Begain’s school band perform.
John Stiernberg was active in the music industry for decades and provided services as a consultant that he developed from his experience and relationships.
Matanya Ophee was born in Jerusalem at the time when it was Palestine. He began playing guitar as a young boy and continued to play it as a hobby while he trained to be an airplane pilot. He flew for the Israeli air force and later as a commercial pilot. When he retired from f