Oral History -

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Hagen Weise was born in Dresden. He shares his experience of his apprenticeship at Musima in a state run production in East Germany before 1989. Per day, four-hundred classical guitars were built until the material allotted for the day was used up.

Norman Treitl’s grandfather was Otto Josef Klier, who established the Klira company to be the third largest music instrument production during Bubenreuth’s boom years. Norman Treitl can tell how Klira started out producing violins, soon thereafter adding guitars and electric guitars to their portfolio. When the grandfather died in 1961 his wife Rosa took over.

Jerry Fuller recorded a Rockabilly version of “Tennessee Waltz” which was a favorite of Elvis Presley and gave Jerry extra status among Elvis and Rockabilly fans alike. Yet it was his skills as a songwriter that resulted in big hit records for Ricky Nelson, Gary Puckett and Al Wilson!

Honoring Bob Wilson for his invaluable service in assisting the NAMM Resource Center in obtaining fantastic interview contributions to the NAMM Oral History Program. This video contains some of the highlight interviews that Bob helped us with gather.

Roland Schuster is a bridge maker in the town of Bubenreuth, which has been the center of production for string instruments in Germany since 1945. He started his craft in the workshop of Ernst Heinrich Roth and later worked for Josef Teller specializing in bridges. When violin makers asked him to make customized bridges, he realized that this was his calling.

Günter Lobe is a violin maker who is known for his faithful copies of Stradivari and other famous violins. He was an apprentice from 1977 to 1980 in the Ernst Heinrich Roth workshop in Bubenreuth, Germany and in 2008 Günter became master of the guild of string instrument makers with about 50 members in the area.

Willie Chambers and his brothers fell in love with gospel music while growing up singing in church. Even though they received some strong criticism, they expanded the places where church music was heard, including night clubs and bars in the late 1950s and early 1960s. With the support of Pete Seeger, the Chambers Brothers branched into folk music and later into rock and roll.

Hans-Peter Messner’s story begins in Trossingen. After he completed his studies in economics and law, he started working in sales and marketing at his uncle’s company, Hohner, which is known for their accordions and harmonicas. Here Hans-Peter gained experience with the Hohner line of electric pianos and digital sound systems.

Titus Tost studied computer programming in the mid-1980s in East Germany. He enrolled in a newly established study program called the Studio for Electronic Sound Generation (SEKD) in Dresden.

Terry Lowe is the founder of Timeless Communications Corp. (TCC) and the publisher of several important trade magazines including FRONT of HOUSE (FOH), Musical Merchandise Review (MMR) and Projection, Lights & Staging News (PLSN).