Library - In Memoriam

Remembering oral history interviewees who have passed away.

Mudge Miller was a veteran of the Chicago Musical Instrument Company and had expressed great satisfaction in working under Mr. M.H. Berlin, the president of CMI for many years. Mr. Berlin was a mentor to so many in the industry and a well-respected leader.

Joan White began her career with Muncie Music Center in 1944, just three years after the store opened. She remained with the store until her retirement in 2016.

Bob Koester was the founder of the Delmark label who began recording blues and jazz in 1953 in St. Louis.

Lloyd Price had no idea that his 1952 recording of "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" would become a cornerstone in the foundation of rock 'n' roll!

Arthur Gurwitz joined Southern Music Company in the late 1940s, soon after his military service during World War II. He expanded the business into publishing, and soon the Southern Music catalog became one of the best known around the world. Arthur played a vital role in the growth and development of the company and the industry as he sought to publish composers who may have otherwise been forgotten. Active in the industry, Arthur served as president of Music Industry Conference (1978-1980) and later on the Music Publishers Association (MPA) Board.

John Dee Holeman was an influential blues performer known as the last surviving original musician who popularized the Piedmont Blues style.

Al Schmitt’s career as a recording engineer covered more than 60 years of innovations in pro audio development in nearly every musical style. Al was the recording engineer for many musical legends from Frank Sinatra and Sam Cooke to Henry Mancini and Quincy Jones.

Max Cooke was an Australian classically trained pianist and professor who wrote a series of method books to assist his students. He began teaching piano students at the University of Melbourne in 1952. Along the way, he developed a teaching style based on his teachers and ideas h

Larry Peyser spent most of his career in the music wholesale business. Larry’s sister married Abbott Buegelesien after World War II and over the years Larry did not just work for the company, he learned much of its early history.

Lee Donais may be the only industry member who played piano (as part of the Navy Band) for three United States Presidents: Johnson, Nixon and Ford.  After his career with the Navy Band, Lee was hired by Gordon Keller to help run His string of piano stores on the east coast.  Lee