Library - In Memoriam
Remembering oral history interviewees who have passed away.
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.
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Martha Tilton was a famous singer during the Big Band Era best known for her vocals on the Benny Goodman hit record "And The Angels Sing." Known as The
Val Eddy was a legendary vibraphonist and composer who played a large part in the early acceptance of the vibraphone in classical music and popular recordings.
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Bobby Byrne played trombone with such control and tenderness that Tommy Dorsey once remarked, "You sit on the edge of your seat waiting to feel the next
Leonard Schmitt opened a small guitar shop to provide lessons in the St. Louis area back in 1932. At the time we wrote a method for teaching music called the Schmitt Music Training Approach.
Mickey Jent opened a small music store in Lubbock, Texas after World War II with her husband, Ray, after his return from military service. The store became a hub for local musicians including Buddy Holly.
William Schultz turned the struggling Fender Musical Instrument Corporation into an industry leader after purchasing the famed guitar company from CBS in 1985.
Jack Hyde was the classic music retailer of the 21st Century. Jack opened a store in the mid 1950s because he loved music, plain and simple. The store, in Northern California, became such a success that he soon opened a chain of Jack’s House of Music stores.
Mildred Kirschner was simply known as Millie around the NAMM headquarters office where she was hired in 1946. The Chicago based association was being run by Mr. Mills when a heart condition forced him to retire.
Maynard Ferguson’s first big time gig was with the Boyd Raeburn Orchestra. He later played his unique trumpet style, with plenty of high notes, with Charlie Barnet, Jimmy Dorsey, Stan Kenton and others. He also enjoyed success as an innovative soloist with his many own small groups and countless recording dates including those with his Birdland Dream Band, which was formed in 1956.