Oral History -

Jose Feliciano is one of the most recognized and loved guitarists worldwide. Jose’s unique style and approach to songwriting and guitar playing is accessible yet technically brilliant. At a very early age, Jose started playing concertina and cuatro before moving onto the guitar.

Mike Kay runs the pro audio department for Ted Brown Music in Tacoma, Washington.  Beginning in 1984, Mike brought his lifelong love of music and audio to the company, which had two locations at the time.  Not only did Mike take part in growing the audio product lines, he took part in the expansion of the company as it grew to multiple locations in and around Tacoma.  All the w

Lee Paynter outlined the rich history of the JW Pepper Publishing Company during his NAMM Oral History interview.  Lee covered the founding of the company in 1876 by James Welsh Pepper who in the early days not only printed sheet music but also made musical instruments.  In fact, Lee told the story of how it was JW Pepper who made the early "rain catcher" Sousaphone.

Dale Probst and his wife, Elizabeth Ward, formed Ward & Probst Piano & Organ Service Piano Tuning Service in Wichita Falls, Texas. They both have followed their life's dream to provide working instruments to assistant their customers to make music!  Dale has been particularly active in the Piano Technicians Guild (PTG), serving whenever and wherever he can.

Studio Engineers make the music come alive for the listener. As Brooks Arthur notes, engineers are like the extra band member performing behind the board. This compilation from the Oral History archives shares just a few stories from some of the icons of the studio realm. We hope you enjoy this little insight into their world.

While there are many facets to the development and building of a guitar, acoustic guitars are able to take the raw wood and, via build and design, let the sound ring true. Through the Oral History program, we have had the opportunity to interview some legendary acoustic guitar builders, including Richard Hoover, Bill Collings, Bob Taylor, among others.

Yoshiharu Abe is known as the father of personal multi-track recording in the audio engineering field.  He was one of the five founders of TEAC in 1957 and went on to become one of the company’s most important product designers.  Abe-son designed several landmark products over his long career including the 80-8 and the Portastudio series.  He later worked for Fostex and was a key player in the teams that created the B-13 and X-15.  Beginning in 1948 he also began writing extensively

Norbert Abel formed the Abel Hammer Company (Helmut Abel GmbH) in 1982 along with his father to manufacture piano hammerheads, shanks and flanges for the piano industry.  Over the years they have created many interesting products such as chemical free felt and high quality hammerheads for both upright and grand pianos.  The products are manufactured in their Frankenhardt, Germa

 David Abell formed his piano retail store in Beverly Hills back in the late 1950s.  Since that time he has established one of the finest reputations in our industry.  Noted musicians, industry leaders and movie stars alike have boasted of his quality of service and the fact that most of his deals have been based on a handshake.  David, however, is equally proud of the regular customers

Susan Aberbach is the president of the music publishing company, Hill & Range, which was formed by her husband and his brother.