Library - In Memoriam

Remembering oral history interviewees who have passed away.

Candido Camero was born in Cuba on April 22, 1921. By the age of four he was already interested in percussive instruments--a field he would revolutionize by blending Latin beats with jazz.

Joe Ussery was the supply manager for the Baldwin Piano factory in Greenwood, Mississippi when he first joined the company in 1973.

Mari Mach spent nearly 40 years in the music industry in and around Elkhart, Indiana. She began her career in the sales department working for C. G. Conn for four years before being offered a job at the Gemeinhardt Flute Company.

John Kuziel was a long time factory worker for the Gibson Guitar Company when it was located in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  He worked as a final inspector for the guitar line and later was in the spray room.

Viola Smith Viola played drums in a number of big bands and small combos during her career in music. She joined Phil Spitalny's all-female orchestra as the drummer and later appeared in such films as 1945's "Here Come the Co-Eds" featuring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.

Spencer Davis hit it big with a string of rock songs during the heyday of the British Invasion of the 1960s. His band, The Spencer Davis Group, started with a school mate named Muff Winwood and Muff’s brother Steve.

Bud DiFluri enjoyed a long and successful career in the music industry in both retail and manufacturing. He managed the Yamaha band and orchestra department in New York City with a focus on sales and marketing, which he also focused on while working as the Senior Sales and Market

Horst Mucha was one of the most recognizable faces within the music products industry. As a past president of Hohner and a pioneer in the expansion of the company’s product line, Horst truly became a legend in the industry.

Richie Jones Jr. began playing drums professionally when he was 12 years old for teen clubs and skating rinks. While gigging, he developed skills in production and worked for Morris Brothers Music in Jackson, Mississippi, which led to his interest in music retail.

Rocco Prestia grew up in Northern California where he began playing guitar as a teenager before joining the group Tower of Power just after the famous band was formed.