Oral History -
EZ Wajcman was fascinated by the need for specialized sounding guitar pickups. Together with Bill Lawrence, EZ opened their pickup company in 1965 and produced a well-respected product that was the talk of the NAMM Show in the mid-1960s. Over the years, EZ developed processes to ensure the pickups maintained their high quality while improving the sound whenever possible. EZ
Rick Wakeman was a powerful force in the development of progressive rock thanks in large part to his keyboard musicianship, songwriting and his deep passion for electronic musical instruments. His influence as a keyboardist can’t be fully expressed; however, most of the products he used on stage and on his recordings were highly sought by British and American musicians alike.
Dick Waldron came to music in a most unusual way. His father was a house painter who completed a job only to find out the house owner did not have enough money to pay so he offered a cornet, to which Dick took a liking. He played the horn during school and served in the US Navy at the tail end of World War II after which he took a job driving a truck. He continued to play
Fred Walecki grew up in a musical family. His father was an expert on the violin who established a rare instrument dealership in Southern California back in 1946. Fred worked with his father until his passing in 1967, at which point Fred continued in the business. Fred’s focus in the industry was on rock and roll products, which soon became his own personal expertise.
Robin Walenta attended the University of Northern Iowa and Middle Tennessee State University before joining West Music in 1982. She was named president/CEO of the company in 2007. She was appointed to the NAMM ExCom and has also served as a board member for the National Association of School Music Dealers and treasurer for the Iowa Alliance for Art Education.
John Walker’s career in music all began with guitar lessons at six years old. This lesson studio’s focus was on ensemble performance, which allowed John to start playing gigs at 11 years old.
Greg Walker was inspired by musical masters and song stylists such as Nat "King" Cole, Johnny Hartman, Sarah Vaughn, and Sam Cooke, and started singing at the age of nine. These legendary musicians made an indelible impression on Greg's artistry and style, setting high performance standards in quality musical expression. Early in his career, Greg's special sound led to an invaluable audition with Carlos Santana
John B. Walker was a well-recognizable character of the music products industry having been a piano mover most of his career. He enjoyed success and friendship but is perhaps most proud of the fact that his son joined him in the business. John worked for several movers during his career and supported almost all of the piano builders at one time or another.
Paula Walker began working in the music industry right out of high school for the Gemeinhart flute company in Elkhart, Indiana. In the early years she worked primarily on student instruments for Gemeinhart, which provided products designed especially for younger students. Her attention to detail became an important part of the process of assembling the instruments that requir
Saul Walker’s career in the field of electronics went back to the early sound designs before World War II. As an engineer he was trained in the United States Navy and worked on several important projects including early sound recordings and the use of what would become transistor technology.