Library - In Memoriam
Remembering oral history interviewees who have passed away.
John Massa was the vice president of customer service at the Selmer Company and was known for building a strong dealer base, many of which became his personal friends. John contracted Polio at the age of 12 and spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair, but never once let his disability define him. He was a pioneer in handicap awareness by just insisting he be able to do his job. As a result ramps were added to airports he used and buildings he worked in. During his 17 years of attending the Frankfurt Fair special chairlifts were installed to accommodate his needs.
Bob Luly built the first sound system for the Rolling Stones that they used in the United States. The system was created for the Orange Show in the 1960s and led Bill to build systems for the likes of Three Dog Night and Frank Zappa (whom Bill played electric bass for on stage in the early part of Zappa’s career). Bob worked to improve the sound and electronics for live shows and found he had a great interest in designing amplifiers.
James M. E. Mixter may very well have been the only person in the industry to have worked for Baldwin Pianos before, during, and after World War II. As a result, he was able to provide meaningful stories and facts regarding an era for which changes occurred in the industry. These changes had an enormous impact on music making for many years. Mr. Mixter later served as President of the American Music Conference (AMC) and provided wonderful insight on the growth, development, mission, and goals of AMC.
Charles Bickel was working on the bench at Selmer when George Bundy decided to try a different plastic emulsion for his idea of a plastic clarinet. The first try was not successful. Mr. Bickel recalled the look in Bundy’s eyes when the first Resonate clarinet was tested, “We all started to clap and cheer.” The product saved the Depression-weary company and, because of its low cost, allowed many families on tight budgets to still afford music for their children. Charles worked his way up to president of Selmer before his retirement in the 1970s.
Ted Krumwiede was a veteran of the piano industry working for Kimball and Story & Clark in the important re-birth of the piano business following World War II.
William McCormick may always be referred to as an industry outsider by some because he came to the music retail business with a Harvard MBA, from the sugar industry – over 30 years ago! His skillful understanding of the business was second to none. His service to the Jordan Ki
Ike Turner was well known for his role in the life of Tina Turner and as the guitarist and arranger of her early career.
George Gaber was the noted percussionist with symphonic orchestras who parlayed his performing into an historic role as professor of music at the University of Indiana at Bloomington beginning in the 1960s. George was closely associated with the music products industry going back to his playing days of the 1940s and 50s when he endorsed several companies’ products. It was during that time that he befriended William F. Ludwig and his son, with whom he has had a life long friendship.
Arnold Broido was an industry treasure! The man had sophistication and charm as abundantly as he had energy and ideas! Having worked in nearly every level of the music publishing industry, Arnold gained the respect of his peers and the confidence of songwriters such as Frank Loesser. He began his long and successful career with Theodore Presser in 1969 and in 1972 began serving on the ASCAP Board. Mr.
Frank Huffman was the quintessential traveling music salesman! With charm and always a few good jokes, Frank has made his way across the United States, first for Wurlitzer and then for Baldwin.