Oral History -
Don Randall met Leo Fender before World War II when both men worked in radio repairs. After the war they decided to form a business together that would allow Leo to focus on developing a line of guitars. Don’s history of radio amplifiers and his business education made for a perfect match.
Willi Zildjian has made many lasting contributions to the SABIAN Cymbal Company, which she formed along with her husband Bob back in 1981. However, her most noted is the naming of the company. While driving to New York from their factory in Canada, she discussed names with her husband.
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).