Oral History -

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John W. Ward began working in the music industry as a piano salesman in the late 1950s, before working for the Sherman Clay store chain in 1961. After earning a position as one of the company’s top salesman, John was asked to help sell home organs, which were just coming into popularity.

Elizabeth Ward and her husband, Dale Probst, brought their love of pianos and their backgrounds as tuner and technicians together to form Ward & Probst Piano & Organ Service in Wichita Falls, Texas. Since she was a young girl, the piano has been a big part of her life.

Dennis Ward takes great pride in the work he does making musical instruments!  He began working in the music industry with Vincent Bach in the 1970s and remained with the company in the early 2000s when it merged to become Conn-Selmer.  In recent years Dennis manages the machines which make parts for the company’s trumpet line including soldering the pistons for the trumpets.

Guy Ward was the president of the Ward Piano Company, located in Canton, North Carolina, from the 1940s until his retirement.  After his daughter and son took over the company, he continued to go into the shop every day even at the time of his 2013 NAMM Oral History interview when he was 89!  As Guy said, "the piano business is in my blood and I really don't want to do anything

Carol Warden learned all she knows about the music industry from her mother and father who opened Dale Music Company in Silver Springs, MD. Over the years she has built on the lessons she learned from her mother about expanding the store’s products and the great care and service the store’s staff has always provided to their customers.

Dennis Waring has created his own line of musical products made out of cardboard.  The harp and guitars are a fun way to get people playing a musical instrument, which is his main goal.  He is also a historian and ethnomusicologist for the industry with the publication of his book on the history of the Estey Organ Company, in his 2002 publication "Manufacturing the Muse: Estey

Virginia Waring began her musical career as a concert pianist. In fact, it was while performing a duet piano performance on the Fred Waring Radio Program that she first met her future husband. Fred Waring had a remarkable music career that covered radio, television, recordings, and music publishing.

Ellen Warmoth and her husband, William, created a true “Mom and Pop” music store when they opened Artisan Guitars in Franklin, Tennessee, not far from Nashville.  The store has a wonderful family feeling in both the layout and their attention to details, which may explain why so many Nashville musicians can be spotted playing an instrument such as the mandolin, ukulele and guit

William Warmoth and his wife Ellen opened a small guitar shop in Franklin, Tennessee, with the dream of providing acoustic guitars to music makers of all ages.  Their small shop has grown over the years in size and reputation; in fact it is a hang out for country and rock artists alike.  William sought to bring unique product lines as well as some of the better known brands tog

WT Warmoth is currently an Industrial Design major at Savannah College of Art & Design and has dreams of becoming a guitar luthier.  As the son of William and Ellen Warmoth, the founders of Artisan Guitars outside of Nashville, WT has learned the art and craftsmanship of guitar builders from some of the country’s best known luthiers.  With a strong musical background, WT is