Oral History -
Kay McDowell now (and may always) holds the record for the most NAMM shows attended --83 in a row! As a very young girl, she accompanied her father, the owner of Ludwig Aeolian of St. Louis, Missouri, to the show. Years later, her husband, Bob, took over that business and a very active role in the industry (including NAMM President).
Ted Krumwiede was a veteran of the piano industry working for Kimball and Story & Clark in the important re-birth of the piano business following World War II. Ted had training and a real passion for marketing and found success telling the great stories of the companies we worked for. Ted was with the original Story & Clark Piano Co.
Ann Jones was interviewed alongside Dick Dolan, the president of QRS, a company known around the world for their piano rolls. As CFO, Ann has been with QRS since the 1980s. She has played an important roll in the expansion of QRS into DVD products for a new generation of player pianos.
Mickey Jent opened a small music store in Lubbock, Texas after World War II with her husband, Ray, after his return from military service. The store became a hub for local musicians including Buddy Holly.
Hal Harrower designed his first double neck instrument in 1987, a 6-string guitar and a 4-string bass. Using the Steinberger system, that first instrument built by Hal not only looked different, it sounded different and gained a reputation for its clean sound.
Dr. John Chowning is known throughout the world for his discovery of FM sound synthesis, which, when used in the context of electronic musical instruments, provided an alternative to the way synthesized music was being created.
AV (Bam) Bamford was a colorful country music producer originally from Cuba. During the mid-1930s, he owned and operated a string of radio stations, mostly in the southern United States. As a promoter of these stations, he often befriended performers who would perform live on the radio or at remote locations such as state fairs.
Robert and Willi Zildjian were interviewed together at the NAMM show in Anaheim on January 18, 2006, the year which marked the 25th anniversary of their cymbal company. SABIAN, whose name comes from the first two letters of the names of their three children, has since become synonymous with innovative products around the world.
Johnny Wright was among the most popular of the traveling country bandleaders during the big band era. Blending his country music roots with a slight bluegrass feel, Johnny’s band was the perfect backdrop for singers such as his beloved wife, Kitty Wells.
John Worthington began as an engineer in the early days of the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI), and, in fact, helped program the MIDI time code. John also worked at Apple Computers during the company’s early involvement in computer music.