Oral History - all
Birth Date: November 22, 1930
Deceased Date: December 1, 2020
Bernice Ash began working at the Sam Ash Music Store in New York City in 1947, one year before marrying the founder’s eldest son, Jerry. Bernice and Jerry continued the tradition of keeping the retail store in the Ash family. Bernice is widely recognized as one of the pioneers of the development of... more
Birth Date: July 11, 1914
Deceased Date: March 22, 2013
Vivian Artley’s brother formed the Artley Flute Company in Elkhart, IN, during the 1930s. With an innovation that allowed the instrument to be made cheaper, Artley became a successful product for school band programs as well as a well-established and noted professional line of products. Vivian’s... more
Birth Date: February 16, 1930
Deceased Date: April 12, 2019
Shiro Arai was the founder of Aria Guitars, a Japanese electric guitar company that gained great international success in the wake of the Beatles invasion—both in America and Japan. Mr. Arai was an early pioneer of Japanese/American commerce, developing one dealer base that represented both... more
Birth Date: February 28, 1934
Deceased Date: March 2, 2014
R.C. Allen was a guitar luthier that used the style of his many friends of the era in the early 1950s in Southern California when guitar innovators were reshaping the instrument and grooming it for a new birth. RC was building his own unique instruments when Leo Fender and Lowell Kiesel of Carvin... more
Birth Date: May 2, 1915
Deceased Date: July 19, 2015
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... more
Birth Date: June 28, 1915
Deceased Date: September 30, 2008
Henry Adler helped define the percussion industry with his music publishing company, drum shop and method books. His amazing life in music began as a drummer during the big band era. His many gigs and one nighters gained the attention of a friend who encouraged Henry to open a drum studio and... more
Birth Date: June 25, 1908
Deceased Date: March 26, 2008
Hawley Ades was hired by Irving Berlin in 1932 to assist the legendary American songwriter with musical arrangements. Hawley stayed with Berlin for five years before being hired by choir master and bandleader Fred Waring. He joined Mr. Waring at the time the bandleader hoped to launch his own... more
Birth Date: March 21, 1940
Deceased Date: October 10, 2010
Solomon Burke’s amazing career in music included a number of important landmarks! His early recordings, which combined gospel and the blues, have become important and influential material for generations of soul singers. Known as the King of Rock and Soul as well as the Bishop of Soul, his shows... more
Steve Porcaro vividly recalls watching the Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan television program in February 1964 and having the sense that his life would never be the same. After forming several bands with his now famous brothers, Steve became a member of the band Toto, playing keyboards and... more
George Petersen has a very interesting perspective on the music products industry. As editor of MIX magazine, George has not only written about the changes in the industry, he has been front and center as an expert witness to such developments as home recordings, MIDI and the Internet. As a... more
Jerome Murphy III, the vice president of M. Steinert & Son’s piano dealer in Boston, provided insightful stories on the rich history of Steinert’s musical history. Jerome told of Morris Steinert’s first store, which opened a few years after he emigrated from Bavaria to Savannah in the 1860s.... more
Airto Moreira has gained international recognition as one of the world’s leading Latin percussionists. He has introduced an innovative approach to playing percussion as well as teaching clinics. A fixture of the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) annual meetings, Airto was... more
Birth Date: March 24, 1931
Deceased Date: November 2, 2013
Bill Lawrence was known for his pick-up design and his long career as a German based guitarist. In fact, when visiting the Framus Museum in Markneukirchen Germany, you can learn of his influential musical career when he was known as Billy Lorento. Always interested in electronics, he applied his... more
Dan Kobida was first interviewed for the NAMM Oral History program back in 2004 during the Wurlitzer company reunion in Oak Brook, Illinois. Dan was not only a respected former employee of the now defunct company but also a key player in the organization of the reunion, which was as much of a... more
This video is of our annual NAMM Tribute, created in honor of our members and music industry friends who passed away in 2007 and early 2008. This Tribute was shown for the first time at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California in January 2008.
This video is of our annual NAMM Tribute, created in honor of our members and music industry friends who passed away in 2006 and early 2007. This Tribute was shown for the first time at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California in January 2007.
This video is of our annual NAMM Tribute, created in honor of our members and music industry friends who passed away in 2005 and early 2006. This Tribute was shown for the first time at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California in January 2006.
This video is of our annual NAMM Tribute, created in honor of our members and music industry friends who passed away in 2004 and early 2005. This Tribute was shown for the first time at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California in January 2005.
This video is of our annual NAMM Tribute, created in honor of our members and music industry friends who passed away in 2003 and early 2004. This Tribute was shown for the first time at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California in January 2004.