Library - In Memoriam

Remembering oral history interviewees who have passed away.

Jim Cruickshank had an eye for design! While a proud member of the Fender guitar team, Jim designed many of the most memorable trade show displays for the company, including the 14-foot neck and headstock.

Billy Carson was listed in the Guinness book of world records for growing the largest watermelon ever weighed. And if you think that is something, consider the fact that Billy also worked with Leo Fender in streamlining the Stratocaster electric guitar in the early 1950s.

This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Ray Evans was an Oscar winning songwriter who penned tunes for jazz and pop artists as well as for television and film.

Frankie Laine earned over 20 gold records as one of America's leading crooners of the 1950s. Over his long career he sold over 100 million records.

Floyd Levin was a promoter of traditional jazz, an author, and music historian. Beginning on radio in the 1940s and then on to writing a music column, Floyd captured some of the greatest stories and characters in the world of jazz.

Jimmy Cheatham was one of the coolest jazz cats in the industry. Having worked with many of the top jazz players such as Duke Ellington and Ornette Coleman, Jimmy brought the sounds of tradition jazz to film scores and television programs over several decades. Jimmy’s warm personality was only watched by the smooth sounds of his trombone. When teamed with his wife, the jazz and blues pianist Jeannie Cheatham, the tones were unmistakable, clear and often strikingly intimate.

Peter Hayward was the chairman and founder of Australis Music Group. He founded Australis Music in 1973 and over the next 33 years he made an enormous contribution to the music industry and formed so many close relationships with people from all parts of the world. His understanding of the growth and development of the Australian music industry was second to none. Peter was the past President of the AMA and an Industry Award recipient. During the interview, Mr.

This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Kenny Davern was just a kid when he heard Pee Wee Russell play and it was a moment that changed Kenny's life. Learning the clarinet, he focused on Dixie

This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Georgia Gibbs, often billed as “Her Nibbs,” enjoyed a successful career as a singer with the big bands beginning in 1936.

Jay McShann ​was one of the last great original stride pianists, one of the last Big Band Era leaders and one of the few musicians to work with such an amazing list of jazz icons. During our interview with him he told some of the most memorable McShann classic stories such as when he was the first big band to hire Charlie Parker and the true story behind Parker’s nickname Bird. What put Jay in a class by himself was the warm way he told his stories and the humble approach he had toward what is without question one of the great jazz success stories in history.  

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