Library - In Memoriam

Remembering oral history interviewees who have passed away.

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.

Larry Fresch Sr. exuded the passion and the love of music that is so much a part of this industry. His four Fresch Music stores in Ohio not only became part of their communities, they encouraged the growth of music programs and music making at every level.

Hajime Yamaguchi was born on September 26, 1944 in Tokyo, Japan. At the age of 18 he traveled the country as a professional drummer and a year later landed a stellar job as drummer for a late night TV talk show in Japan. After a few years his girlfriend (and future wife) explained her parents concerns for her getting married to a musician. They wanted him to have a steady paying job. Knowing a friend who worked for TEAC, Hajime applied for a job and was hired.

Morris Hayes had some harrowing moments during World War II, but would rather spend time telling you about the glee club he formed while overseas. As a life long choral director, Morris created several methods that have made him a well respected leader in the industry. He is also given credit for creating one of the finest choral departments in the country at the University of Wisconsin. He served as President of the American Choral Directors Association and even, in retirement, surrounded himself with music.

Ted Herbert was a well known bandleader during the great big band era who opened a store on Manchester, NH to help him get the repair service he needed for his own road band. Although his band worked steady long after swings golden days, Ted found the store a nice place to come home to. NAMM's interview with him is a wonderful history of the music retail environment after World War II and his own history as a bandleader during that era.

Leita Jolly was celebrating her 100th birthday the week she was interviewed in 2003. On the occasion, she played the piano for her friends with her ragtime flare. In 1917, while World War I was ending, Leita was hired as a song plugger.

Gil Marschner had several key positions in the music products industry beginning in the 1950s and into the 1980s. Best known as G.

 Luella Derwin was one of the first women owners of a music store in America.  In 1937, when her bandleader husband Hal Derwin went on the road, Luella was left behind, “So one day I was thinking of all the fun we had with musicians who would come to town and look for a local pla

Arthur Linter had many stories to share, like the one about his real birthday.

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