Oral History -

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Martin Denny cornered the market on the musical style of the early 1950s known as exotica. The smooth melody of the songs were enhanced by hundreds of different tropical sounding instruments, jungle noises and the call of birds. Martin began his musical career as a composer and piano playing bandleader in the era of the swing bands. He was booked for a 3-week engagement in Hawaii where he developed the idea of creating "mood music" for the island.

Paul Damiano has played a critical role in the growth and development of Kaman Music ever since first joining the company in the early 1980s. With a great understanding and passion for marketing and manufacturing, he was able to design processes that increased the company’s success especially in considering the ever-changing global market.

Andy Clark is one of the great characters of the music publishing industry! Over the years, Andy has served as a musician, band director, arranger, composer, and publisher. With a keen sense for school music programs, Andy has been able to develop and strengthen various programs by providing meaningful materials and services to students and band directors alike.

Don Canedy was a beloved band director and professor at Southern Illinois University before being hired by the Roger’s Drum Company in 1961. Don played drums beginning at the age of 10 and was a perfect fit for the company’s Educational Director.

T. Warren Brown was president of the music store his father established in the Tacoma, Washington area in the years of World War II. Ted Brown Music became an important leader in the music retail business with Warren playing key roles in the expansion of the store.

Ernie Briefel played a tremendous role in the wholesaling of musical instruments in New York City, beginning in the 1950s. His understanding of the business and close partnerships resulted in creative innovations, the establishment of brands, the growth of markets and accessibility to in-demand instruments.

William Bevan has proudly served as an engineer at Shure Inc. for over 40 years. He was a key engineer in many of the company’s products from the early 1960s and running into the 2000s. He worked in the electronic development departments with a focus in his early years in photograph cartridges and microphone development.

Lou Berger is an energetic piano salesman in the style of the old piano traveler of a by-gone era. In fact, what Lou knows about selling pianos he learned from some of the old timers when he was a young man starting out in the business.

Remo Belli revolutionized the music products industry by introducing the Weather King, the single most popular drumhead in the world! As a jazz drummer, Remo was looking for ways to improve the percussive products he was using. Once his team of chemists found the perfect formula, Remo took it around to his many drummer friends to test the product out.

Jane Smisor Bastien together with her husband. James Bastien., wrote the best-selling method-book, Bastien Piano Methods, enjoyed by millions of students and teachers worldwide. The series of books, all published by the Neil A. Kjos Music Company, are now translated into more than 16 languages.