Oral History -

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Gunter Graulich is the founder of the German music publisher, Carus. The company was established in 1972 with the mission to publish sacred choral music. Since it’s founding, the focus of Carus has been to publish both little known choral works from all eras in critical editions and reliable editions of older works, which do not conform to the standards of modern editorial practice. With Mr.

Betty Gore, along with her husband, established Pender’s Music Company in Texas. The retail store is only one part of the company, as her husband Harold sought to find and publish every march and song by John Phillip Sousa. Betty played a key role in the large endeavor by researching the songs and copyrights. She also worked alongside Harold as the store grew over the years.

Elmer Gibson has served the music products industry for over 38 years as the insurance rep for the NAMM membership. Elmer has worked closely with the NAMM management and members to provide useful insurance that has in fact paid a dividend for 37 out of the 38 years of the program.

Larry Garris is the founder of Corner Music in Nashville, Tennessee. Located in the heart of the country music region, Corner Music has become the place to purchase the latest gear and to listen to some great music. Over the years, Larry has developed long-lasting relationships with many of the local recording studios and their engineers. If there is a last minute need, Corner Music is the place to go.

John Galante was the accountant for the Story & Clark Piano Company beginning in the late 1950s. John oversaw the growth and development of the piano industry during those years and witnessed first hand the powerful team at Story & Clark as they worked to compete with the home organ boom, which became strong in the mid to late 1960s. John enjoyed his role within the company and took pride in the team of people that he brought together on various programs over the years.

Bob Furst was a veteran of the piano industry for over 50 years, Bob sold nearly every brand of player, upright and grand piano that you can think of. Over the years he also became an expert on the value of pianos and a historian on the background of piano manufacturers.

C. Darby Fulton’s father opened a music store, which seemed the perfect place for Darby growing up. He enjoyed the business and worked with his father as the company grew into 26 locations during the boom of the home organ craze in the 1960s.

Larry Fresch has worked by day as a sales manager for piano and organ companies and by night as an accomplished saxophone player and singer in Southern California. He grew up in Sandusky, Ohio, where his father had a music retail store. Young Larry began playing the accordion before switching to the saxophone at the age of ten. He enlisted in the United States Navy and attended the Navy Music School in Washington, DC. Larry performed on many Goodwill Tours including those for wounded soldiers returning home from Vietnam.

Wolfgang Förster’s family-owned piano company was formed in 1859 by August Förster, who opened a small piano workshop in "Löbau, Germany. Wolfgang grew up in the family business and recalled as a young boy hiding under the workbench while his father and grandfather worked on building pianos. After nationalization of East Germany in the early 1970s, the company became state-owned, although Wolfgang continued to manage the building of their musical instruments.

John Felice likes to say he was in the right place at the right time when he opened a Hammond Organ dealership in the 1960s. As the home organ market began to take off John had the staff and inventory in place to meet customer’s needs. His creative marketing led to many special promotions within the store as well as sales at events such as county fairs.