Oral History -
Curtis White was 11 years old when his father, Forrest White, resigned from Fender Guitar Company. Curtis remembers being devastated and wondering what the family would do since Fender was such a big part of his life. Forrest was one of the early employees of the guitar maker, located in Fullerton, California.
Bill White played drums since he was a child. So when his son approached him to make a snare drum for him after Bill’s retirement, he agreed. Since that time the snares his son played have been requested by friends and fellow drummers to the point that they decided to start a business. White & Son Custom Percussion focused on snare drums with single shells.
Wil White worked for Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center for nearly 30 years! It all began on October 6, 1987 when he was looking for a job and answered an ad for a cashier. He was hired by the founder, Mr.
Joan White began her career with Muncie Music Center in 1944, just three years after the store opened. She remained with the store until her retirement in 2016. Although she started by organizing the sheet music department, Joan (pronounced Jo-Ann) assisted with all areas of the business.
Jim Whitehill provided a very important overview of the products and politics of the Norlin Music Company, which was originally named Chicago Musical Instruments (CMI) when Mr. M.H. Berlin formed the company in the 1920s. In the late 1960s and early 70s, the Norlin company, headed by Mr.
Norman Whitfield Jr grew up surrounded by music. His father was the noted songwriter, Norman Whitfield, who penned such classic hits as “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”, “Just My Imagination”, “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”, and the disco era hit “Car Wash”. Norman Whitfield Jr followed in his father’s footsteps by having a big impact on music behind the scenes.
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Margaret Whiting was a popular singer who had a number of hit recordings in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Laura Whitmore’s passion for music began at a young age, learning to play guitar and writing songs as a teenager. She attended Hofstra University where she earned a B.S. in Music Merchandising and an MBA in Marketing. Laura worked for CBS Records and Korg, where she rose through the ranks of marketing assistant to marketing manager and artist relations for Korg, Marshall, and Vox.
Edward Whitmyer began working on the bench at Selmer in Elkhart in the 1970s when most of the work was done by hand. During his long career, Edward, has witnessed firsthand the development of computer driven machines to complete some of the tasks he once completed by hand. His training on CNC machines has been a key in the use of the machines to do routine jobs while allowing
Tony Whitt began his career in the industry with the Linton oboe company in Elkhart, Indianan. He later began working for Gemeinhart, which has been where he has been for most of his 52 plus years in the industry. At the time of his mini interview, Tony was working in finishing and final assembly of the flutes for Gemeinhart.