Oral History -

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Flip Oakes is the designer of the Wild Thing series of trumpets and cornets. Although Flip is a master of many musical instruments including the clarinet and saxophone (for which he was widely known during most of the 1960s and 70s), the trumpet later became his main instrument.

Paul Murphy has served his industry well, just as did his father, his grandfather and his great-grandfather. Paul was elected to the NAMM Board of Directors where he served for over a decade including a term as chairman. Two of his relatives also served as president of the NAMM Board, as well as presidents of the distinguished piano retailer M. Steinert & Sons.

Roger Murrah has enjoyed an incredible career as a country music songwriter and with passion for the craft has dedicated his time and talent into creating a Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame. Beginning in the 1960s, Roger performed and wrote music in Nashville. His string of hit songs includes Conway Twitty’s “A Bridge That Just Won’t Burn,” the 1981 cross-over hit “We’re In this Love Together” recorded by Al Jarreau and “Don’t Rock The Jukebox,” recorded and co-written by Alan Jackson.

Gavin Mortimer spoke with great understanding of the current challenges the music industry faces. He observed with a brilliant insight that changes such as the advent of Internet are not unlike challenges that the industry has faced head on, time and time again. As president of Headline Music Ltd., Gavin outlined what he sees as opportunities created within these recent challenges and noted that clever thinking always rises to the top.  

Peggy Lamb began working at the record division of the Acuff-Rose Company before transferring over to the publishing division in the early 1980s. She worked with Mr. Wesley Rose, the father of songwriter Fred Rose, who built up the catalog and reputation of the company to one of the most respected in the industry.

Eugene Kornblum’s father formed the famed St. Louis Music Company, which played a legendary role in the music products industry during most of the 1900s. As President beginning in the 1960s, Gene expanded the company with a number of important product lines including Ampeg basses and amplifiers.

George Koregelos made a series of well-respected flutes under his name in the 1970s that was but one of his career highlights in the music products industry. After studying instrument repair at the CG Conn Company in Elkhart, Indiana, George began designing his own instruments with a focus on the flute.

Katinka Lathrop was married for over 60 years to a guitar player with a passion. After he retired from the ceramics industry, the couple moved to Modesto, California, where they opened a small retail shop.

Phillip Stanger began playing drums at an early age and took lessons from the famed percussionist, Roy Knapp. Phil remembers with great joy the first time he walked into Frank’s Drum Shop in Chicago. Years later he would teach out of the world-renowned percussion store and over the years got to know the owners, managers and fellow teachers.

Sam Keeney loved playing music! He had a road organ he hauled to performances nights and on weekends. Starting in the late 1950s, his day job was music retailing. In 1970 he bought a store in Spry, Pennsylvania, and renamed it Sam Keeney Piano and Organ Company. Over the years he pioneered product lines and saw plenty of trends come and go.