Oral History -
Scotty Moore set a date and time on July 4, 1954, to get together with a young singer who wanted to record with Sam Philips at Sun Records in Memphis. Sam asked Scotty, who had recorded with several bands on Sun, to call this kid and work out a few songs. This was his first meeting with Elvis Presley.
Tommy Moore was introduced to the music industry by his father, Woods Moore, who operated Alt’s Music store in Fort Worth, TX. After earning a degree in finance, Tommy returned to the store upon his father’s request to investigate other aspects of the music industry that might interest him. Tommy saw a need for rhythm instruments in the schools that could be made and sold inexpensively, so in 1959 he started The Rhythm Band Company.
Ruth Ann Melk recalled the days when her husband’s father would design specialized tools for the repair of musical instruments, which her husband, Phil Jr, soon developed into a full time job and career. She said he was delighted to quit his day job as milk man and devote his time and energy into something he loved.
Owen McPeek always wanted to play music, so he found several day jobs that allowed him to play music at night. He ran Rush’s Music on Alcoa Highway in Knoxville, Tennessee, for over a decade beginning in the late 1960s. The full line store pioneered in providing pro-audio gear to its customers.
William McNamara reported to Mr. Alfred LaMotte, a true legend in the music products industry when Bill was first hired by Thearle’s Music stores in San Diego in the 1930s. Mr. LaMotte was known for his clever sales campaigns and dedication to the growth of the industry.
H. C. McMurtry sure knew a lot about the Wurlitzer Company! Not only did he work for the company for nearly 20 years, he traveled throughout the country, selling the company’s product line to hundreds of music dealers. H. C., known by his nickname, Harmon, served as the national sales rep for the Wurlitzer Company from 1965 until his retirement in 1979.
John McLaren Sr. is the president of BBE Sound, which develops pro audio gear. The company purchased G&L Guitars and has been dedicated to keeping the spirit of the founders and their ideas and traditions evident in each guitar. G&L was originally formed by George Fullerton and Leo Fender and has become a successful guitar line around the world. In the early part of his career, John worked for Yamaha, which resulted in strong friendships he continues to this day.
Charlie McCoy is one of the noted musicians known as the A Team, in the Nashville studios of the 1950s, 60s and 70s! Charlie’s harmonica can be heard on several popular recordings –countless in fact – including the lead solo on “Candy Man” by Roy Orbison. Charlie formed an early relationship with Hohner and he has worked with the company over the years on product design and promotions.
Jimmy Mays performed rock and country music for over 30 years. Along the way he kept his day job, working at Bill Higgins Music from nearly the beginning. Some 40 years later Jimmy stands next to the owners, Nancy and Bill Higgins, to serve their customers, each and every day. As Jimmy put it “This is the best business for me.
Gil Marschner had several key positions in the music products industry beginning in the 1950s and into the 1980s. Best known as G.