Oral History -

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This video is of our annual NAMM Tribute, created in honor of our members and music industry friends who passed away in 2020 and early 2021. This Tribute was shown for the first time virtually at NAMM Believe in Music Week on January 21, 2021. All moving images within this video indicate those who have been interviewed as part of the NAMM Oral History program.

Dan Slick grew up in Johnstown, PA playing the family’s upright piano but soon switched his focus to the organ. He began his career in the music industry working at Fulton Piano and Organ and has since worked with several other companies over the years including Baldwin and Technics.

Michèle Vice-Maslin has always had a passion for music and songwriting. She grew up with her family in Queens, NY and started playing instruments and writing poetry at a young age. After high school, Michèle moved to Arizona to study music and creative writing at the University of Arizona, and ultimately ended up in Los Angeles, CA.

James “Peaches” Hergen has always known that he would have a career in lighting. He remembers at a young age going to roller rinks with his family and would get lost in admiring the lights. The passion exploded when his parents got him a DJ light for Christmas and James was set on his journey.

Dave Lauser accidently discovered the drums while helping clean out a friend’s room and was allowed to keep the sticks he found as a reward. His curious nature developed into a passion for drumming that grew even more when his parents got him his first drum kit, and ultimately Dave turned that into a career in music.

Ketty Lester sang several ballads while in a recording studio in Los Angeles in 1963, under the assumption that the point of the session was an audition to explore her musical range and style.

Dan Miller grew up with music all around him and joined the school band the first chance he got. Dan will be the first to admit how fortunate he was to have opportunities to go to many clinics in Chicago and meet some incredible and influential musicians. One of these musicians, Bobby Shew, became not only a mentor but a lifelong friend.

Beeb Birtles developed a passion for music at a young age when his parents bought him a piano-accordion while growing up in Amsterdam. After emigrating to Australia with his family, Beeb started singing and playing bass in bands with friends from high school.

Derek Brown is best known for playing the style of music known as Beatbox Sax. This way of playing the saxophone incorporates percussive playing techniques that were developed by Derek.

Gail Muldrow is a vocalist and guitarist who grew up completely surrounded by music. Living in the Oakland area, she would often take trips into San Francisco to experience the vibrant music scene. One of her close friends while in high school was Sly Stone of Sly and the Family Stone.