Oral History -
Jerry Wenger was just a kid when he recalls his father asking him and his sister to help him out with building some products he has invented, in the basement, for his school use as a music educator. Jerry was right there at the beginning of one of the music industry’s most innovative manufacturer of furniture and equipment for music practice, rehearsal and performance faciliti
Billy Wennlund and his brother Don made up one of the most iconic sales teams in the music products industry. Don was the salesman, the guy with the pitch and Billy knew the products inside out. Together they helped establish the Lowrey Organ in the home market. They were both born in DeKalb, IL and while Billy was in the US Navy, Don got a job at Wurlitzer. When he returned, Billy joined Don at Wurlitzer and in 1958 they opened their own music retail store. Years later Billy became the Vice President of Product Development for Norlin, which owned Lowrey Organs.
Mark Wentling is the CEO and President of Ashly Audio in upstate New York. As an engineer Mark established himself within the industry as a creative and passionate contributor to such companies as MXR, Fender and the Music Man. The amp products he worked on in those early days continue to generate respect from engineers who admire his approach to product development. Mark br
Lutz Wentscher spoke of the long history of Tonger Music House, one of the most traditional publishers in Germany. As CEO, Lutz has helped guide the company in recent years, yet looks back fondly on the many achievements of the Tonger Company since it was first established in Cologne in 1822. Tonger has been committed for over 100 years to the education system and the music p
Dale Wentworth put himself through college by teaching music lessons in the back of his father’s lighting store Kelowna, British Columbia. After finishing college, Dale realized that his lessons along with some instrument sales were surpassing the income of his father’s business.
Stanley Werbin opened a small guitar shop he named Elderly Instruments on July 5, 1972. The original location was in East Lansing, Michigan and focused on "used instruments". Within a few years Stan watched the growth and development of the vintage guitar market and provided a repair shop and expert staff to address the needs of this new market. Stan's store was one of the first retail shops to sell vintage gear through the mail and over the Internet.
Pauly Werkheiser often says he would never trade his memories of the years he worked for the C.F. Martin & Company. He expressed the family-like relationships he had and the pleasure it was for him to be a part of the growth of the guitar company. Pauly worked at nearly every level of assembly and production and made life-long friends along the way.
Parham Werlein followed in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather as president of Werlein’s For Music in New Orleans, Louisiana. Like his predecessors, Parham also served on the NAMM Board and was a great supporter of the American Music Conference (AMC).
Bitsie Werlein was the last president of the famed Werlein’s For Music in New Orleans. When its doors closed in 2003 it was the nation’s oldest operating music retailer. The company was established in 1862 during the Civil War when the Union Navy blockaded New Orleans harbor.
Lars Wern is the Vice President of Em Nordic AB in Stockholm, Sweden, working alongside the company’s founder, Benny Englund. In fact, during the 2013 NAMM Show in Anaheim, Lars and Benny were interviewed together and shared their love for the industry and spoke about some of the changes they witnessed during their careers. Lars made his own guitars as a teenager and by 1964