Oral History -

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Lyndell Thompson was delighted when her two sons, Phil and James, came to her and her husband with a new idea for their Nashville-based leather company. The year was 1978. Until that point the company had made horse accessories, a market that was slowly decreasing.

Morley Thompson’s financial background was a key element in the expansion of the Baldwin Piano Company during the 1980s. Morley created a credit company and finance programs under the Baldwin name to branch off from the company’s core technology and invest on a larger scale.

Phil Thompson enjoyed working in the leather company his grandfather formed in Nashville. As a teenager Phil made himself a leather guitar strap in the shop, although the business at the time was devoted to horse accessories.

Norm Thompson began his career in the music products industry as a salesman for retailers in Memphis during the 1950s. He worked his way up to a position of buyer for the store O. K. Hauck, which introduced him to the wholesalers, many of whom he would later work for.

Johnny Thompson has the distinction of being the very first music student of a young steel guitar player named Ernie Ball. Back in the early 1950s, before he established his string company, Ernie was a well known country player in and around Los Angeles, and taught a few students for extra money.

Terence James Thompson played the clarinet just as his father and grandfather did. Terence played clarinet in the British Army after World War II and in 1948 attended the Birmingham School of Music. He began to teach in a Birmingham area high school in 1950.

Akil Thompson has been an active music maker since he was a kid playing guitar.  Over his career he has toured with LeAnn Rimes and Kelly Clarkson, as well as built his own recording studio.  Akil decided that when he was not on the road, he wanted to record and engineer.  His studio is located in the Berry Hill area of Nashville.

DeForest Thornburgh came into the industry with a strong business background and a deep-seated passion for guitars. When an opportunity arose to purchase the well-established Blue Guitar store in San Diego, he took it. His goal was to focus on the talents of the staff, which included master luthier and an original founder of the shop, Yuris Zeltins.

Bobby Thrasher has his roots in fabrication and was able to merry that talent into a career in music by accepting a position as a stage hand managing hydraulics with Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Using that tour as a launching point, Bobby continued to excel within the industry eventually working on tours with Bruce Springsteen, Simon and Garfunkel, and Billy Joel. Bobby was awar

Victor Tibaldeo Sr. loved to talk about the accordion boom of the 1950s, an element that helped establish his music store. The Miami-based store also was one of the country’s most successful organ retailers when that instrument hit its boom in the 1970s.

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