Oral History -
Marsha Berman grew up in a home filled with music. Her mother sang and her father played, so she was encouraged to play piano. She took lessons until college, at which point she studied music at UCLA not knowing just what she wanted to do with her degree.
Fred Bramante formed the music retailers Daddy’s Junky Music on the East Coast and went on to play a vital role on the NAMM Board during a most critical period in the association’s history. While playing in a rock band in college in the late 1960s, Fred got the idea of buying used music gear and selling it to performers he knew who were looking for different equipment.
Terry Bingley was a leader in the Canadian Music Products Industry for several decades. He began his career when he formed a music retail store before working with Yamaha and, later, serving as the Managing Director of Kawai. He helped to establish Kawai Canada.
Frank Bilz applied his passion for music into the expansion of the Markneukirchen Germany music school programs entitled Musicon Valley.
Paolo Fazioli heard a special piano sound in his head and yet was unable to find an instrument that was capable of producing the sound, so he built his own pianos. Beginning in 1978, he developed the techniques and use of special woods to craft one of the most revered sounds in the piano industry.
Lucien Wulsin’s grandfather was taught the piano business by D. W. Baldwin, the founder of the world-famous piano company. What he learned was passed down to his son, who, like his father, became president of the company. Lucien III carried on the family tradition and served as President of Baldwin Piano Company during the turbulent 1960s. The piano business needed to compete with the home organ products, which were on the rise.
BR Wexler was the president of Wexler Music Company, the leading manufacturer of symphonic batons. The company also produces a wide range of accessory products. Established by his father, David Wexler, the company pioneered the music store counter catalog and gained great respect for its fair business practices.
Parham Werlein followed in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather as president of Werlein’s For Music in New Orleans, Louisiana. Like his predecessors, Parham also served on the NAMM Board and was a great supporter of the American Music Conference (AMC).
Donald Waxman is a noted composer who served as editor at Galaxy Music Publishing Corp., as well as several positions on the ASCAP and MPA Boards over the years. He is best known for his contributions to piano pedagogy and educational method books for first time piano students.
Bernie Vance played the saxophone in a number of big bands during the swing era. He was drafted and served during World War II, only to come home and find that musical tastes had changed. The big band era was over so Bernie turned to what he knew best, his horn. If he couldn’t play it for a living, he would teach and sell. In 1946, the Vance Music Store opened in Bloomington, IN. However, the first year was a difficult one for the store (like so many others in his same situation). Bernie needed to learn about overhead and taxes, which he learned fast.