Oral History -

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Fred Vail was making announcements on a local radio station in Sacramento, California when he was just 12 years old. While in high school, he led the committee that brought bands to the school dances. One such band, The Beach Boys, had just recorded a few songs that were climbing up the charts but they did not perform much outside of the Los Angeles area at that time.

Ricky Peterson is a lifelong Minnesotan musician whose family is deeply rooted in a characteristically “Minneapolis” sound. Ricky is best known for his 20 year association with saxophone legend David Sanborn, and for having produced, written and played keyboards for Prince.

Max Jones is the official greeter at Bill Jones Music in Knoxville. He does his best to meet each person as they enter the store and won’t mind if the customers take a moment to rub his belly. The founders of the store, Bill and Marjorie Jones, adopted Max when he was just 3 weeks old and he grew up in the store.

Marjorie Jones and her husband opened the Bill Jones Music store in Knoxville, Tennessee back in 1973. She joined Bill full-time in 1989 after raising their children, and in 2011, Marjorie became the manager of their music lessons.

Bruce Bartlett is the founder of Bartlett Audio and has designed an impressive list of microphones over his long career. He worked for Shure and Crown International, where he designed and engineered several key products including the boom headset microphone, used by artists such as Garth Brooks, the PZM boundary mics and the SASS stereo mic.

Tom Pick is the prominent studio engineer who was behind the glass inside RCA Studio B alongside producer Chet Atkins when hundreds of hit songs were recorded. During his NAMM interview, Tom outlined the equipment in the studio as well as some of the artists he was proud to work with over his long career.

Joseph Fox knew his great grandmother, Sarah, who along with her husband Otto, formed Fox Music House in South Carolina back in 1928. She was a great inspiration to Joseph who grew up knowing nothing else but the music business.

Charles Fox learned so much from his grandparents who established the family business, Fox Music House, in 1928. His father, Maurice, expanded the company to several locations and brought in a wide range of instruments and pro-audio gear.

Victor Quarterman began taking drum lessons as a kid at Leonard’s School of Music, which was established by the father of his longtime friend and mentor, Danny Leonard. Danny introduced Victor to music retail, which aside from gigging, has been his lifelong passion.

Lowell Samuel was the quintessential music man! He devoted his life to creating school band programs in the small towns of Illinois before and after World War II. After serving as a band director, he opened Samuel Music in 1946, which allowed him to continue to support both students and band directors alike.

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