Oral History -
Maurice Fox loves selling organs to area churches. In fact, even after a retirement from the presidency of Fox’s Music in Charleston, South Carolina, (his son now holds that position), he still travels the state selling Allen Organs. Maurice served on the NAMM board as well as was president of NAYMM and the AMC boards. It’s clear he loves the business.
Clora Bryant was billed as the female Louie Armstrong in the era of the Ed Sullivan variety show. Her raspy-voiced imitations were a big favorite among viewers but the gimmick often over- shadowed her incredible talents as a trumpeter. Most music lovers don’t like to think about how Clora had to struggle.
James Moody and his saxophone graced many NAMM Shows over the decades and was a good friend to many within the industry. He was often seen strolling the show floor and encountering friends with a smile at nearly every step. It is easy to see why he was one of the most beloved jazz musicians in history.
Gregor Zielinsky has been a sound engineer for years, so when he tells you about the correct microphone for any given performance, you should listen. Along with his passion for and knowledge of recording equipment are his many stories of professional musicians and the microphones they prefer. As public relations and artist relation’s director for Sennheiser, Mr.
Tedd Waggoner began his career in the music industry in 1969 and soon joined the Selmer team. Tedd worked in most of the positions for the company but found his greatest satisfaction when he began working in the Vincent Bach division of Selmer. As a trumpeter, Tedd fit right in and soon learned not only the full production of the trumpets and mouthpieces but also the great Bach history. His knowledge and passion led to several production and product adjustments and improvements over the years to create instrument as close to Mr.
Steve Vai is a man that could be described as a planet that revolves around a star named Music. His life is ever entwined in an orbit that includes composing, transcription, performance, acting, and philanthropy. He first gravitated into exposure as Frank Zappa’s guitarist.
Harold Smith ran the Baldwin factory in Greenwood, Mississippi and became president of the famed piano company in the 1980s. In addition to the task of improving production and working conditions in the plant, Harold designed a music program in the local schools to showcase the importance of playing the piano.
Tony Schmidt was the very first volunteer of the NAMM Foundation’s Museum of Making Music (located in the NAMM building) to provide 1,000 hours of service. As a kid, he saw Duke Ellington perform in his hometown of Chicago and was hooked, not only on Ellington (for which he was a noted expert), but on all things jazz.
Del Roper performed the xylophone for several society big bands, playing on radio with Xavier Cugat in the early 1930s. Del was later a powerful force in studio orchestras and developed a double decker xylophone, which he played on several variety TV programs in the 1950s.
George Roeder played the flamenco guitar and sang in Barber Shop Quartets ever since he was young. While he was taking lessons from Evelyn Breu, he took a liking to the retail business –as well as his teacher. After the couple married in the late 1960s, they formed a tremendous team both as musicians and as educators.