Library - In Memoriam

Remembering oral history interviewees who have passed away.

Bonnie G. Rowe did not seem to mind much when people thought he was a woman because his given name was Bonnie. For 87 years he corrected people and never gave much thought to using his middle name of Gordon.

Dr. Albert Sanderson revolutionized the process of piano tuning by inventing the electronic tuner.

Sir John Pearse was proud of the role he played in encouraging countless people to play the guitar.

This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Ray Ellis had a remarkable career as a songwriter and arranger. His career spanned jazz and popular music, as well as cartoons and game shows.

Millie Swanson was known as “The Sweetheart of Wurlitzer.” She joined the company in 1931 as an office clerk while still in high school. Over the years, as Wurlitzer grew into the largest musical instrument maker in the world, Millie was promoted to assistant to Mr.

John P. Smith was one of thousands of young musicians who toured the country on the buses, cars, and trains that carried the territory bands of the swing era from high school sock hops to hotel ballrooms.

Henry Adler helped define the percussion industry with his music publishing company, drum shop and method books.  His amazing life in music began as a drummer during the big band era.  His many gigs and one nighters gained the attention of a friend who encouraged Henry to open a

This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Connie Haines was a noted singer during the Big Band Era.

Earl Palmer may be the most recorded jazz and rock drummer in history! He performed with just about every recording artist from Little Richard and Fats Domino to Ricky Nelson and Frank Sinatra.

Henry Z. Steinway was quite articulate when speaking about the incredible history of the Steinway and Sons Piano Company. One could say that he lived all elements of being a Steinway as the former president of the Steinway Company. His love for music led to the creation of the board of the NAMM Foundation’s Museum of Making Music, for which Henry was the first president. His passion for music went beyond that of the company. As he once said, “You don’t have to play the piano, but do play an instrument.” His inspiration and example will be felt for many decades to come.

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