Library - In Memoriam

Remembering oral history interviewees who have passed away.

Specs Powell played jazz drums during the hey-day of 52nd Street in New York City. He worked hard -- sometimes four gigs a night -- playing behind such legends as Billie Holiday, John Kirby and Red Norvo.

Jerry Hershman was a regular fixture at the NAMM Show. In fact, in 50 years, he never missed a convention. During one of his last shows before his retirement, Jerry was interviewed for the NAMM Oral History program. His father formed a New York wholesale company called Hershman Musical Instrument Company and the day after college graduation Jerry joined his father in the business and never left. Jerry was also the founder and president of J&D Music Services, and was very active in the trade associations and conventions.

Richard Bennett served many roles during his long career in music, perhaps most notably as the sales rep for Wurlitzer towards the end of the 1960s.

Sandy Feldstein played an important role in the publishing of music and method books on percussion.

Robert McDowell was president of the NAMM Board of Directors from 1969-1971. During that time he assisted William Gard in the expansion of the NAMM organization, including more hands on involvement with AMC and its publication Music USA. As a retailer in St.

Kay McDowell now (and may always) holds the record for the most NAMM shows attended --83 in a row! As a very young girl, she accompanied her father, the owner of Ludwig Aeolian of St. Louis, Missouri, to the show.

Boots Randolph was the capable saxophonist who proved the instrument could serve a vital role in both rock and roll and country music. His sax can be heard on a range of recordings in which he was both leader and sideman. His “Yakey Sax” hit brought a renewed energy and interest to the saxophone in popular music.

Edna Mae Burnam authored the now classic piano training books “A Dozen a Day” to help beginners learn in a fun and meaningful way. Her books have been critical to millions of young pianists around the world for over 60 years.

Elizabeth Ludwig-Fennell was always surrounded by music. As a child, she played piano. As a young adult, she helped develop the Ludwig Music Publishing Company. She later married the founder.

Don Kirkendall was hired by Electro Voice founder Al Kahn to serve as the company’s advertisement manager in 1954. Don’s creative approach to the company’s line of speakers and microphones earned him several industry awards and increased sales annually for 3 decades in a row. Among the most noted campaigns was for the Buchanan 644 microphone, which gained a reputation for its solid body and durable sound.

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