Oral History -
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.
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.
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
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
Frank Alkyer has asked a lot of questions. As a writer and editor of Music Inc. he has interviewed music retailers and suppliers alike. As a writer and editor for Down Beat Magazine, Frank has interviewed countless jazz and big band performers.
Davie Allan was an early user of the fuzz tone boxes in the 1960s and put them to good use on a number of his instrumental hits with the Arrows. He also used the effects on many of the soundtrack works he completed for movie studios over the years. His pioneering sound has been an influence on many performers since his early recordings.
Fred Allard has been passionate about music making since he began playing guitar in the 8th grade. As a teen he worked for Milano’s Music Center in Mesa, Arizona in the mid 1960s. Fred worked for the music store for over eight years working his way up from salesman on the floor to manager of one of the stores in the chain.
John Allegrezza began working in the piano business in 1957 and soon discovered he had a real passion for the business and the people. In 1981 he opened his store, Allegrezza Pianos, in Ridgeland, Mississippi, just north of Jackson. Over the years he has worked with some of the biggest names in the business including Kawai, which was his first line! John has been named the K
Andy Allen established the custom shop within the Maton Guitar Company in Melbourne, Australia.
This is the full length NAMM Oral History interview with Richard Allen, which was captured on May 17, 2003. For his biography and web clip, please follow the link: https://www.namm.org/library/oral-history/r-c-allen