Oral History -
Fred Gretsch embraces the great history of our industry like no other. Perhaps for good reason, his family has played a vital role in the development of the industry for over 120 years. With remarkable stories of family members, innovative products and great marketing ideas, Fred outlined a few of the most historical moments in his company’s history.
Dinah Gretsch is Vice President to her husband Fred’s presidency of the Gretsch Company. Her role in the company has been very significant due to her knowledge of licensing and other contract agreements, which has been a large part of the company’s growth over the past decade.
Hershel Green spent much of his career in the piano and organ field, working as salesman, technician, and tuner. Along the way, he gained respect from travelers and dealers alike. As a side hobby, Hershel collects Hammond clocks and the items regarding the history of the man who made those clocks and went on to create the Hammond Organ Company, Mr. Laurens Hammond.
Bob Gray is often called the "Music Man" for a good reason. Over his long career, Bob sold something like 10,000 pianos! Even during his NAMM interview, it was clear that he was a passionate salesman who enjoyed his career very much.
Vince Grantano was a fixture among traveling piano representatives. He traveled the entire United States for several companies over the years to bring new products to retailers. His most notable job was with the Winter Piano Company where he worked for several decades. Vince joined the National Piano Traveler’s Association in the 1950s, during a time when several of the old timers could talk about the golden age of the piano in the early 1900s.
Larry Goldstein, currently a vice president at Westheimer Music, has a passion for the history of the music industry. Larry was able to provide a terrific perspective to our interview collection by recounting the early days of the Guild Guitar Company as well as the great wholesalers of our past such as C. Bruno, Coast and Targ & Dinner.
Hugh Goldsmith was hired by the Mason-Risch Piano Company of Canada when he was still a teenager in 1937. Times were difficult during the depression era and into the war years when Hugh enlisted into the Canadian Air Force. After the war he returned to the industry and worked as a traveling sales rep for nearly 30 years as well as a retailer and piano manufacture.
Henry Goldrich has some of the most remarkable stories in the industry! As the owner of Manny’s Music retail store in New York City, he has seen it all. Playing a vital role in Manny’s world renowned reputation, Henry expanded the product line and promoted up-and-coming innovations, which created a strong celebrity customer base.
Peter Giles, the founder and president of Giles Communications, celebrated 20 years in business at the 2007 NAMM Show. During his interview, Peter proudly recalled his work in promoting the benefits of music making. Over the years, he has worked closely with many industry companies.
Craig Gigax’s father established Meridian Music in Indianapolis and built up a respected reputation, due largely to his friendly personality and clever business skills. After his father, Richard, passed away in 1995, Craig gave up his career in microprocessors to continue in his father’s footsteps.