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.

For many musicians, obtaining an instrument for the very first time is a special experience unlike any other.  Strumming your first guitar or beating your first drum can spark an extraordinary musical adventure.

One of the most archaic yet essential instruments in the music and percussion industry is the cymbal.  With its origins dating back as far as 3,000 B.C., the cymbal has been used in various settings including rituals, celebrations, worship, military purposes, and enjoyment.   After alchemist and cymbal maker Avedis Zildjian migrated from Istanbul, Turkey to the United States in the early 1900’s

This vignette highlighting the Krell Piano Company is representative of the many “gems” of history from the Music Products Industry throughout the collections gathered in the NAMM Library and Resource Center.  Krell, like many other companies and families comprising the Music Products Industry, developed wonderful connections and experienced amazing growth during different periods of operation.

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.

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.

Having a very long history, the trumpet dates all the way back to at least 1500 BC.  Trumpets were used in the early days as a way to signal battle or hunting. Today they are used in several different genres, ranging from classical to popular music.