Oral History -
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Johnny Catron formed his first band in Boston back in 1939, but gained fame as a bandleader and songwriter when he reformed his band following World War II in Southern California.
Steve Araujo grew up in Southern California playing guitar and bass in school and in local bands. Becoming a professional bassist, Steve toured and taught music for many years. Seeing a need to create a platform online for bass players to gather, he developed the website The Bass Hang.
David McLaren worked closely with his father, John McLaren Sr., at BBE Sound in Southern California, which purchased G&L Guitars. David fell in love with the G&L story and products, and today serves as President & CEO. His main focus is to continue the legacy of the two founders, George Fullerton and Leo Fender.
John McLaren Jr. grew up in the music business as his father, John McLaren Sr., served as a strong leader for CBS Musical Instruments, which owned such brands as Steinway pianos and Fender guitars. His father was also the Senior Vice President for Yamaha Corporation. John Sr.'s involvement in Fender guitars allowed John Jr.
Rusty Richards would like to point out the distinction between Singing Cowboys and Cowboys that sing. He is very much a cowboy, having roped, rode in the rodeo and having worked as a ranch hand most of his life. He also is a singer, having crooned with the famous Sons of The Pioneers and other groups for nearly as long as he has been in the saddle.
DJ Grandmaster Flash combined his love of music with his passion for electronics to become one of the pioneers of Hip Hop music. His innovative style of mixing records and blending beats provided the foundation for a generation of DJs and MCs, as well as set the stage of EDM and other forms of music.
Phil Ealy is an award-winning lighting designer who established West Coast Concert Lighting in the late 70’s. Having designed the lighting rigs for several large rock tours, Phil became known for his attention to every detail with focus on smooth eloquent color transitions and flash and bang effects when needed.
Terry Oliver grew up in Southern California and remembers the day his father took him for guitar lessons at RC Allen’s guitar shop in 1964. The famous luthier had dozens of projects in the works including building a hollow body guitar and a banjo. In 1967, Terry’s father requested that Mr. Allen build a guitar for his son, which Terry plays to this today.
Ken King performed in several Country and Western bands in and around Los Angeles beginning in the 1940s. While playing his guitar as a guest on the Spade Cooley television show in late 1949, two fellow musicians in the band (Jimmy Wyble and Cameron Hill) showed Ken the new solid body Fender guitar.
Tim O’Brien joined the Taylor Guitar team in the marketing department back in 2013. At the time, the digital world was changing with the rise of smart phones and social media. Tim assembled a team that took a fresh approach to marketing and helped the company make great use of their own unique and compelling story.