Library - In Memoriam

Remembering oral history interviewees who have passed away.

DJ Fontana drove down to Houston in a pink Cadillac with Elvis Presley after being hired as the then unknown singer’s first drummer. They pulled up to Herbie Brodstein’s Drum Shop (Herb would later form Pro-Mark Drum Sticks) to buy a kit.

Eddy Clearwater was a teenager when he left Mississippi to live with his uncle in Chicago.  There he discovered his love for the blues.  As a guitarist, Eddy became a sought after session player in the area.  As a songwriter, Eddy added to the modern blues movement in the 1950’s

Glenn Snoddy was working in the recording studio in Nashville, when a short on the control board caused Grady Martin's guitar to take on a new sound.  The engineers and producer looked at one another and asked if they heard that fuzzy sound.  That sound was later requested by oth

Fredy Shen worked closely with Remo Belli becoming a Vice President in the Remo Corporation. Mr. Shen oversaw the expansion of the company’s manufacturing overseas. The relationships that he helped develop were vital in the company’s global marketing growth for over 30 years.

Murray Sunshine was a legend in the New York music retailing business. As an employee of Manny’s Music, hired by Manny himself, Murray witnessed first hand the growth of 48th Street as a music center for not only the country but the world.

Hal Cowan studied business administration while playing music all through school. He loved playing organ and found himself in the company of fellow organ buffs as well as employees of organ stores and manufacturers.

Bert Neidhardt was one of the leading experts on musical instrument importing and exporting. As president of German American Trading, he established trade policies and relationships on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Roy Burns played drums for several big names in swing and jazz including Benny Goodman with whom he recorded with during the 1950’s. Roy later provided clinics for Rogers Drums in music stores around the country and published several method books.

Nick Peck’s entire face lights up whenever he talks about a great school music program! The son of a band director, the passion seems to be in his blood. After taking over the store his father started in Greenville, South Carolina, Nick joined the NAMM board in 1969.

Johannes Scherzer was a world-renowned master trumpet maker who spent much of his long career with JA Musik Group in Markneukirchen, Germany. His passion for the instrument contributed to innovative designs and an increase in the JA product line.

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