Oral History -
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.
Howard Rachinski was the music director for his church in Portland in 1985 when a need to expand the ministry developed. Howard noticed that the members of his church and most churches he knew were not compliant with music copyright laws.
Irwin Rabinowitz was personally hired by Irving Berlin to create the lead plates for the famed songwriter's sheet music. Irwin's craft was hand chiseling each note, each slur, and coda into metal plates that would then allow copies to be published. Although Mr.
Dave Pell had a long and remarkable life in music. As a saxophonist he played with many of the top dance bands in the later years of the Big Band Era, including Les Brown and his band of renown. As a photographer, he covered the long-playing albums for most of TOPS records during the 1950s, including several featuring an unknown model named Mary Tyler Moore.
Bruno Pedrini and his brother Tom both started music stores in Southern California after World War II –yet the stores remained separate although they were both called Pedrini Music. Bruno’s store was established in 1946 in Glendale and was later moved to its current location in La Crescenta. His daughter and her husband now operate the store and Bruno visited occasionally; such as the day NAMM honored him for 60 years in business.
Grassella Oliphant was a drummer is entire life and it is what he loved to do. During his long career, he played back-up for a host of jazz and blues performers as well as singers such as Sarah Vaughan and Gloria Lynne. Beginning in the 1950s, Grassella’s long association with the drum industry began as an endorser of Ludwig and later with Rodgers.
Michael Nugent was the former president of Norlin Corporation. He joined the company when it was still Chicago Musical Instrument Corporation (CMI). M.H. Berlin, CMI’s founder, had purchased a few instrument lines to expand the company’s keyboard products department. Mr. Berlin’s son, Arnie, hired Michael to oversee that growing department. As it turned out, he was hired in the early 1970s, which was the beginning of the greatest sales boom the home organ has ever experienced.