Oral History -

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David Briggs is a great example that not all those in the music products industry enters into it because of their passion for music. David’s passion is business and he has developed one of the strongest retail chains in the UK, Dawson’s Music. Mr. Briggs noted, “Looking for ways to improve what we do is very exciting for me.

Q David Bowers contributed greatly to the archiving of the music products industry. As an author, he researched and published several books on the early era of mechanical instruments. His 1972 publication, The Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments, has become the definitive reference source on the topic.

Carl Bosse played an important role in the uncovering of our industry’s history when he sat down for our interview to discuss the Artley Flute Company. Since Mr. Artley had passed away in the 1960s and Carl’s father, Richard Bosse, who had owned the company but was in poor health to relay his stories, Carl stepped in to help.

Lee Berk’s father had a unique idea in teaching music, bringing the passion and fun of music making into the classroom. The Berklee School of Music in Boston, MA was founded with those ideas and in the decades to follow was built on those ideas by his son, Lee.

John Beltrandi served as a road rep for Kaman Music on the east coast for over 40 years. He traveled mostly in Massachusetts and Connecticut and helped pioneer the Ovation guitar, which was not well accepted when it was first introduced, but built up a strong audience in the early years.

Dick Bell was surprised by the impact he had on the music industry, a fact that became clear to him at the NAMM Show 2009, when the Roland Corp gave him a retirement party and NAMM requested an interview for the Oral History program.

Ruby Beeston was a piano teacher when she suggested that a local piano store carry sheet music. The store offered her space to sell the materials, which led to her opening a small chain of retail shops in the Salt Lake City, UT area.

Tom Beckmen opened a music store with his band director while still in college in 1958. The relationships he created in the store lead to a road salesman job with C. Bruno. He traveled the country for nearly a decade before establishing his own distribution company, Beckmen Musical. He later began a long association with Roland Corporation.

John H. Beck has an amazing talent for explaining the art of music making, not just teaching music, but providing meaning to the student in ways that fuel their passion.  As the principal timpanist for the Rochester Philharmonic and a well-respected professor at the Eastman School of Music, John H. Beck has made a lasting contribution to the music industry during his long career.  As a promoter of school programs, he oversaw important changes as president of the Percussive Arts Society that lead to more hands-on programs and demonstrations for students.

Larry Bearce formed Reston Music in northern Virginia in the 1960s and later opened several locations in the area. One key to the store’s success was the man himself. He was a dedicated music maker who found personal satisfaction in watching students progress and learn music. He took pride in knowing each student and the families, a fact that was apparent to all those who visited his store. Larry was proud of his staff and the fact that all of his seven children have something to do with music, including a son who runs one of the stores.