Oral History -

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Scott Baxendale is a noted guitar luthier who has crafted a unique career based on his own style of guitar building that echoes several of his favorite luthiers. While working for Mossman guitars, he created several specialized instruments, including the noted custom Warner Brother’s guitar, which showcased his skilled techniques of inlay, design, and use of creative bracings. Scott bought the company for a time. To this day, he continues to design guitars.

Winfried Baumbach came to represent the German musical instrument industry beginning in the 1980s. As the managing director of the European Music Industries Association, he has played a vital role in the organization and development of the German market. He has also been key in the expansion of the German music market within the larger global economy.

Dave Bartholomew was a noted bandleader, trumpeter, and songwriter who captured a pioneering sound known as the “big beat” of rock and roll. His uncanny ability to provide the perfect musical expression to the words of his bandmate Fats Domino resulted in a long list of classic recordings.

Kyle Barker began working in the piano retail industry in 1969 when the Sherman & Clay Piano Company in Northern California hired him. Five years later he established Barker Music in Modesto, where he would later expand the line to include guitars and percussion. Kyle also opened a second store in Stockton, CA.

Tom Baker began his career in the industry at Menchey Music outside of York, Pennsylvania, where he developed and managed the sheet music department. After 30 years, Tom is right where he started, with one exception. Today he is one of the most recognized and respected sheet music retailers in the industry. At any given Retail Print Music Dealers Association (RPMDA) meeting, you will see Tom, most likely in the background, doing what he does best -- learning and gathering information always with the hopes of improving his company’s sheet music department.

Emile Baran began a music retail business that led to the opportunity for expanding into the music wholesale business. Emile formed DeKalb Music Supply, a music retail store in Decatur, Georgia in 1958. Several years later he expanded into the wholesale business, thanks in large part to his understanding of the school music market.

Rosemary Bailey was ten years old when she was hired by Hammond as a concert artist. Over the years, she took part in the growth of the organ market in the 1970s and had first-hand experiences bringing music to millions.

Dennis Awe is passionate about the organ! As a recording artist he has performed on many products, endorsing the Lowrey Organ for many decades. As a keen salesman, Dennis has written books on the process of marketing and selling to encourage others. As a music maker, Dennis has brought the sounds of his talents to millions, with a smile and a friendly handshake.

Robert Averwater’s father, M. J. Averwater taught music, wrote a method book and opened up Amro Music in Memphis, TN, with a fellow music teacher. Robert recalled some of the challenges of the store in the early days after World War II.  The inventory needed to be reestablished as instruments and accessories were slowly becoming available again after the war.

Billy Ashbaugh remembers with a smile his first drum kit as a kid and the desire to play professionally almost from the very beginning. He learned the ropes as a sub drummer and studio player before landing the gig as drummer for the boy super-group N’Sync.