Oral History -
Claude Watson was a precise and revered luthier who perfected the fine art of handcrafted instrument building. He was known for his clever design and complex inlay work in country-style flat tops and a series of violins, cellos, and string basses.
Bobby Watson grew up in Lawrence, Kansas and remembers dreaming of buying a new saxophone at the local music store. An early gig with drummer Art Blakey began Bobby on his career as a noted jazz musician, which has included forming his own award winning band and playing with such artists as Joe Williams and Carlos Santana.
Donald Waxman is a noted composer who served as editor at Galaxy Music Publishing Corp., as well as several positions on the ASCAP and MPA Boards over the years. He is best known for his contributions to piano pedagogy and educational method books for first time piano students.
Greg Way has had a long and successful career in the Canadian music retail industry and has been a strong advocate for music and music making throughout his career. As an owner of St. John’s Music, Greg developed many programs for his customers and played a key role in the company’s store expansion. His understanding of the changing market and the business practices for both Canada and the United States has served the industry well.
Christopher Weait attended Potsdam's music program in the late 1950s, the same time as John O'Reilly and Sandy Feldstein. After teaching music and playing in many orchestras, Christopher began to compose. He published a book, one of the first, on double reed making and soon wrote method books and works for large and small groups.
Greg Weast owned and operated Columbia River Music, a retail store in downtown The Dalles, out in Wasco County, Oregon. The location, 410 E 2nd Street, had its own musical history, having housed a series of music stores since the 1930s, including Cook Music, Fulton Music, Raben’s Records and Roth Music Center. Greg became a band director in the public schools for four years a
Richard Webb’s grandfather opened a pawnshop in England and his father, Sydney, developed a small music division within the shop some 20 years later. Since the age of 12, Richard thought of nothing else but to be involved with the family business. Richard enjoyed the music business and was greatly inspired when rock and roll was first popular. Richard and his father opened a combo shop that would later sell keyboards. They were ready for the home organ boom of the 1960s and grew to 48 Minns-Crane stores in all.
Jimmie D. Webb operated a small music shop in Antioch, California, which was also the headquarters for his amplifier business. The Webb Amps were widely used by electric blues and rock bands, mostly in San Francisco beginning in the early 1970s. Although he never developed a production line or formal manufacturing process, Jimmie made thousands of amps –by hand!
Dale Webb wanted to create a new design for the ukulele with the hope that it would inspire more people to play a musical instrument. His Fluke did exactly that! The instrument was introduced at the NAMM Show at the perfect time as a new wave of popularity for the ukulele swept the world! Since that success, Dale has been hard at work creating other unique instruments includ
Phyllis Webb and her husband, Dale, formed The Magic Fluke Company in 1999. The company began making ukuleles in the basement of their home in New Hartford, Connecticut. They were inspired and encouraged by Phyllis’s brother, Jim Beloff, an accomplished musician and guitarist who discovered the uke a few years earlier.