Oral History -
Ike Turner was well known for his role in the life of Tina Turner and as the guitarist and arranger of her early career. However, during our interview with him, Ike took the time to discuss the early part of his own music career beginning with the first rock and roll song “Rocket 88” for which Ike played the great piano boogie-jump style that defined the early days of rock.
Orrin Tucker’s Orchestra recorded one of the greatest successes of the big band era, “Oh Johnny Oh.” This novelty number featured the shy voice of Wee Bonnie Baker and has come to symbolize the musical era and the social climate of America during the late 1930s and early 1940s.
Terence James Thompson played the clarinet just as his father and grandfather did. Terence played clarinet in the British Army after World War II and in 1948 attended the Birmingham School of Music. He began to teach in a Birmingham area high school in 1950.
Maurice Summerfield wore many hats within the music industry as wholesaler, retailer, exporter, historian, author, publisher and mentor to a new generation of industry leaders. His family sold toys in the late 1800s. By the time Maurice joined the company, he added to the product line his own passion, the guitar.
Bruce Stevens has served as President of Steinway and Sons longer than any non-family member in the company’s more than 150 year history. Bruce has presided over several important programs at Steinway and Sons, including the launch of the Boston and Essex brand pianos. His association with the company goes back to the 1980s when CBS sold Steinway.
Rose Shure took over ownership of the Shure Company after her husband Sidney N. Shure died in 1995. With her great understanding of the products and office policies (having been employed there herself since 1949), She was able to not only continue the pace that her husband started, but expand and develop the company into a new era of technology.
Ed Shaughnessey was best known as the drummer in Doc Severinsen’s band on the “Tonight Show” starring Johnny Carson. Ed started his career in New York night clubs and in pit orchestras learning the ropes from the likes of Specs Powell and Papa Jo Jones.
David Seville loved the music industry because he loved music! He was born in Birmingham UK and became a well-known opera singer both in recordings and such live performances as Wells Cathedral. During our interview, he recalls his transition from singing to a long and enjoyable career with Selmer UK, CMI, Norlin and his own company.
Dr. Frank Reinisch spoke of one of the world’s oldest music publisher, Breitkopf & Haertel. The company was established in 1719 at the very dawn of the industry. The company’s roster of composers reads like a who’s who of classical music.
Boots Randolph was the capable saxophonist who proved the instrument could serve a vital role in both rock and roll and country music. His sax can be heard on a range of recordings in which he was both leader and sideman. His “Yakey Sax” hit brought a renewed energy and interest to the saxophone in popular music.