Oral History -

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Janet Deering has become the darling of the banjo industry as co-founder of the Deering Banjo Company. Along with her husband Greg, she has brought the banjo back to its popular roots with the pride of an American-made instrument.

Greg Deering worked for a short time with Bob Taylor in San Diego as both men sought their dreams to create their own unique fretted instruments. While Taylor Guitars was being established, Greg and his wife Janet worked long and hard to build up the Deering Banjo Company.

Paul de Benedictis recalls the day he was working along side software designer Dave Oppenheim when a series of commands were created to allow a drum machine to sync to Dave's MIDIMAC Sequencer through MIDI. In the early MIDI days of the synthesizer and computers this was an exciting moment and one of many that Paul experienced while working in the field of electronic musical instruments and sequencing in the early 1980s.

Jim Darby is the band instrument salesman who formed Capital Music in Montgomery, Alabama, and who built a customer base both in school band programs as well as among the elderly. Jim’s sharp salesman pitch is like that of a preacher on Sunday morning and if you are not going to buy an instrument from him, you’d better have a good reason.

Paul Craft always felt a pull towards music but was not just sure how it would take hold in his life. For a time he ran a music store in Memphis called Paul Craft’s Music and Drum City all the while writing poems and setting them to music.

Bobby Crafford still has his first snare drum, the one he played when he recorded early Rockabilly songs for Sun Records in Memphis, TN. In 1957 he joined the Pacers, the band behind Sonny Burgess. Being part of the roots of rock and roll has always been a source of pride for him.

Robert C. Cosgrove was hired by the Baldwin Piano Company following World War II and later worked his way up to vice president. He witnessed the re-building of the production line, which during the war was used to assemble wooden gliders.

Jack Cookerly was an accordionist who was among the first to connect the instrument to the technology behind the electronic keyboard. He was chief engineer at Lowrey Organs and designed a number of unique and important advancements for the electronic organ. The resulting efforts can be found in the now historic Lowrey MX1.

Bobby Cochran got his start in music playing the licks of his uncle Eddie, who passed away when Bobby was just ten years old. As he developed his own style he performed with Steppenwolf, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Leon Russel, as well as his own bands as singer and guitarist.

Joe Cardinale played jazz bass in clubs and theaters all around New England. He created his own trio and studied at what would be Berklee College of Music. He joined the wholesaler Harris-Fandel in the pre-Beatles era and witnessed first hand the impact the British Invasion had on the industry. Along the way Joe remained passionate about music and music making. In 1986 he formed Joe Cardinal Sales and picked up lines such as G&L Guitars and Jupiter band instruments.

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