Oral History -
Bulent Akbay was born in Istanbul and was interested in playing the drums at an early age. He played throughout school and like other drummers in the area he was always looking for a place to play. This need led Bulent to form his own drum studio and school, which later included a retail element of the business. His connections within the percussion world afforded him the ch
Toshio Akiyama is an internationally renowned figure widely known for his contribution as the "father of the Japanese wind bands." Having received his education at the famous Eastman School of Music, USA, Mr.
Marty Albertson began working at the Guitar Center in San Francisco when the small chain’s founder, Wayne Mitchell, was still active in the business. Marty was there to see the store locations expand and grow and was very much a part of the executive branch of the company when it was first offered as a publicly-traded company.
Tommy Aldridge doesn't mind being compared to the wild Muppet named “Animal." As Tommy puts it, both have crazy hair and crazy drum styles! Tommy's playing career has included gigs with Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, and Black Oak Arkansas. Being a fan of jazz, Tommy used Louis Bellson's double-bass drum setup and pioneered its use in rock.
John Aldridge has become one of the leading experts on the history of drums, percussion companies, and their products. As a publisher and editor, John established the magazine “Not So Modern Drummer” and dedicated its pages to the vintage drum, the history of which otherwise might have been lost. John has been instrumental in preserving important percussive collections and documentation to ensure the material could be accessed by those interested. John’s NAMM Oral History interview was
Van Alexander co-wrote “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” with Ella Fitzgerald while both worked in the Chick Webb Orchestra back in 1938. The success of that song led to a job as arranger for Webb as well as Benny Goodman and Paul Whiteman and super stardom for Ella. Van formed his own band during the wonderful swing era but gave it up to work in the movies when Bing Crosby offered him a job in 1948.
Philipp Alexander is proud of his musical past. His family formed Musik-Alexander in Mainz, Germany in 1782. They began as brass instrument makers and later opened a music store while continuing the making of horns. One of the company’s milestones took place in 1909 when they introduced the now famous horn, model 103.
James Alexander reformed his band, the Bar-Kays following the plane crash that took the lives of three members, and singer Otis Redding. The new band was created in tribute to those killed with the help of Ben Cauley, the only survivor of the crash (James was on a second plane) and singer Larry Dodson. The Mar-Kays have backed hundreds of artists at Stax Studios in Memphis a
Will Alexander worked for Oberheim in the heyday of the synthesizer boom of the 1970s. He helped engineer the Oberheim Four Voice System as well as the popular OB-X units. He soon realized the role computers could play in music making and by using the early Apple products he began engineering instruments on his own.
Pat Alger formed his own music publishing company in Nashville after writing several hit songs. His tune "Thunder Rolls" was a big hit for Garth Brooks, and other songs have been recorded by a range of artists including "Small Town Saturday Night." Pat, in fact, grew up in a small town in Georgia and began playing folk music as a teenager. Happy and Artie Traum asked Pat to