Oral History -

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Lyndon Laney built his first amplifier in his father’s garden shed with little thought of turning his craft into a business. That was the case until his friends began requesting his amps. His creative side fueled his passion for manufacturing and the Laney Amplification Company was born.

Alberto Kreimerman opened Hermes Music Stores in the United States with branches in Mexico beginning in 1982. His goal was always to serve music makers with quality products and service and in the background he set aside some of his profit to serve underprivileged children in both the US and Mexico.

Wendal Jones began playing double reed instruments as a child in grade school. He switched to saxophone for a time to play in a number of dance bands in the Colorado area. After college, where he studied music, Wendal became a band director. While working in Arizona, he started to make his own reeds, first for himself, then for students and fellow-teachers.

Yoshitada Hoshino is the president of Hoshino Gakki Company, a music company that has remained in his family since first opening in 1908 to sell sheet music in Japan. The distribution segment of the business began to grow throughout the next hundred years. Along the way the company developed the Ibanez Guitar line as well as the Tama Drum products.

Michael Harris began working in the music industry officially in 1967, however, since his father and uncle both worked in music retail in Chicago you can say Mike grew up in the business. After law school and serving in the National Guard, Mike returned home to partner with his brother purchasing an old music wholesale business owned by Henry Teller.

Ralph Grierson’s father was a sawmill operator who loved playing music after work and on the weekends. As Ralph grew up, his father encouraged him to develop a career in music. After college, while playing in several bands in the Los Angeles area, Ralph was asked to record a film score.

James Goldberg grew up in Washington DC and was a journalism major in college, which led to jobs as a writer for newspapers. He later received his law degree at George Washington University with the hope of getting involved in government affairs.

Mitch Gallagher grew up in a musical family. His mother and her sisters sang three-part harmony for dance bands, encouraging all of the children in the family to get involved with music. Mitch followed his love of music throughout college and into a salesman job for the Sweetwater Sound retail store beginning in 1992.

John Eaton spent the latter part of the 1960s composing for electronic musical instruments such as early synthesizers developed by Robert Moog and Paul Ketoff. His microtonal music included several works for live performances such as “Song for R. P. B” in 1964 in which John played the Syn-Ket and “Duet” in 1967 using the Moog synthesizer.

Michael Diehl opened a small store in Freehold, New Jersey after serving in the United States Navy during World War II. He attended college on the GI Bill and found that he could run the music store with a small loan from the bank. His business flourished during the great accordion craze of the late 1940s and 50s.