Oral History -

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Chip Wise has been in the piano business for many years and has enjoyed the customers he has met and the people he has worked with both in the companies he worked and out. Over the early days of the NAMM Oral History program more interviewees suggested we interview Chip than anyone else.

 Mac Wiseman joined the Foggy Mountain Boys in 1946, the same year the legendary bluegrass band was formed.  The groups two founders, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, formed their own group after performing and recording with the father of bluegrass, Bill Monroe.  When the Foggy Mountain Boys began recording, Mac played guitar.  In later years he also sang with the group, but it wasn’t unt

Mel Wisniewski gave music lessons in a small music store in upstate Wisconsin and soon discovered he was interested in the idea of owning his own store. Not wanting to compete with his friend, Mel and his brother, Joe, moved to Southern Illinois where they established Wisniewski Brother’s Music in 1963.

Lou Witt grew up on a small farm in Iowa and one day asked his band director in school for an instrument.  He was given a trombone and has played the instrument ever since.  He enjoyed playing music and soon developed an interest in working within the music industry.

Brad Wittmer and his friend and co-worker Richard Schiemer were given an opportunity to purchase the store they were working in, and they took it!  The two met while working for Brighton Music Center and were approached by the owners to buy the store upon their retirement.  Since that time the two have worked hard to focus on the original mission of the store to focus on teachi

Horst Wittner’s grandfather, Gustav Wittner, formed a precision mechanical factory for the production of metronomes in 1895. His son, Rudolf, expanded the plant and helped set standards for the industry such as design and speed features. Their most popular model was the Taktell.

Tom Wittrock remembers the very moment he decided to dedicate his career to the guitar: when he purchased his first Les Paul sunburst in the mid-1970s.  Many of his friends thought he was crazy when he paid more for a used instrument instead of getting a new one cheaper, but Tom knew just what he was doing.

Mike Wofford has enjoyed a long and acclaimed career in music. As a jazz pianist, Mike has performed with many legends including Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Carter, Quincy Jones, Shelly Manne, Zoot Sims and Sassy Sarah Vaughan. He pays remarkable attention to details and understands the role as an accompanist to vocalists.

Karen Wojcik began working for Selmer in 1973 and watched the company change hands but stayed with the same company for her entire career.  She works in the office for Conn-Selmer in Elkhart and has witnessed some great changes with the use of computers and later the Internet.  Her role in assisting the customer in getting the product they want in a timely matter is among the f

Abe Wollam was a close associate of Bud Reglein. Beginning in the 1940s, Abe worked with Bud at the J.J. Babbitt Mouthpiece Company out of Elkhart, IN. Abe developed strong engineering skills, which proved to be invaluable as the company grew over the years and required specialized tooling.