Oral History -
Al Torre feels music was more than part of his life, it was the driving force behind it, like love and passion. He played drums at an early age and was a key part of the careers of jazz greats, Cal Tjader and Vince Guaraldi. Al joined the Cal Tjader Quartet and recorded the album, Jazz At The Blackhawk, in 1957. The album was a showcase for the unique talents of each musicia
Csaba Toth was working in the hotel management business when, by pure chance, he had the opportunity to work in the music products industry. As a keyboard player in a local band, Csaba was a big fan of the Roland line of products. One day he noticed a hotel visitor was from Roland in Japan and found the chance to introduce himself.
Allen Toussaint represented one of the quintessential New Orleans sounds. Toussaint’s compositions and songs seamlessly blend blues, jazz, ragtime, R&B, and funk to create an amalgam that is unique and readily identifiable to New Orleans. Starting on piano in the 1940s and initially influenced by Professor Longhair, Toussaint went on to develop a unique style all his own.
Brad Townsend always had a love for music and remembers growing up with music all around him. He opened a retail music store/lesson studio and also had an extensive career at Fender Musical Instruments for 18 years. While at Fender Brad dealt with domestic and international sales as well as marketing and product management.
Helen Tozzi was hired to set up the accounting for a new music store that was opening in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Progressive Music opened in 1947 and Helen was there on opening day. She recalled Ed Garbit, the famous band director and founder of Progressive Music, as a warm and understanding man.
Marcellus Trach recalls with a smile the many rules a wood worker had to follow in the C.F. Martin & Company when he was first hired after World War II. He also expressed the pride so many of his co-workers felt over the years towards the world-class musical instruments they were making each day.
Charles Traeger had an impressive reputation in the world of bass making and bass restoration. His long career began when he was a musician in the big band era looking for someone who could help with his own instrument. He learned all he could and noticed there was a real need for literature for repairing and restoring double basses. He created the Traeger Principal that say
John Trakas was hired by Ziggy Coyle to serve in the store's accounting department. John grew in the company over the years as did the store, which had multiple locations throughout the Ohio area.
Happy Traum began his musical career in the 1960s, greatly influenced by the folk movement that had gripped the culture in America. He and his late brother, Artie, helped establish a New York scene for folk music along with some of their friends and fellow-musicians such as a young Bob Dylan.
Jane Traum and her husband Happy, are the founders of Homespun Music, which for decades has offered a growing collection of musical instrument training classes. Happy began with a new classical guitar program, which at the time was released on cassette tape. Today the expanded programs are offered on DVD and stem from the couple’s own passion for music making.