Oral History -

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Marty Garcia saw a need to create a way for the singer and musicians performing on stage to hear themselves without the blaring floor monitors. The Ear Monitor Concepts and Products were introduced in the 1980s and soon allowed Marty, a then road sound engineer, to form his own company, Future Sonics.

Gary Gand grew up playing music and developed a passion for musical instruments. In 1971, he parlayed this passion into a successful career in music retail. Gand Music and Sound, located in Northfield, IL, was among the first stores in the country to carry pro audio and lighting equipment and has been on the pioneering side of product introductions and marketing campaigns.

Bob Gallien has been an innovator in bass guitar amplification for some 30 years! Inspired as a young guitar player in the 1960s by bands like the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, Bob loved the role the bass guitar had in rock music, although it was clear the sound needed improving. As co-founder of Gallien-Krueger, he has helped establish a niche within the industry dedicated to the improvement of amplification.

Colonel Arnold Gabriel proudly led the United States Air Force Band as well as the Symphony Orchestra, the Singing Sergeants and the McLean Orchestra over a long and celebrated career of musical service to his country. Playing for presidents, heads of states as well as service men and women, Col. Gabriel was an early supporter of the Midwest Band Clinic and the youngest person ever to be inducted into the National Band Association Hall of Fame of Distinguished Band Conductors.

George Gaber was the noted percussionist with symphonic orchestras who parlayed his performing into an historic role as professor of music at the University of Indiana at Bloomington beginning in the 1960s. George was closely associated with the music products industry going back to his playing days of the 1940s and 50s when he endorsed several companies’ products. It was during that time that he befriended William F. Ludwig and his son, with whom he has had a life long friendship.

Gene Fresco was one of the top sales reps of our industry. As a mentor and teacher, he provided real and practical sales methods to countless men and women in and out of the music products industry. His first love was selling and he made a career of it and the craft of teaching it to others. His pioneering skills revolutionized the Sunn Company in the early 70s.

Larry Fresch Sr. exuded the passion and the love of music that is so much a part of this industry. His four Fresch Music stores in Ohio not only became part of their communities, they encouraged the growth of music programs and music making at every level.

Paul Francis, Quality Manager, fondly recalled the early days of his career at Zildjian and spoke with pride of the history of the company as he has come to learn it. His understanding of cymbal making is only equaled by his passion for the Zildjian story.

Clem Frak worked for King Musical Instruments for 35 years! As vice president of sales, Clem was well known by many of the veteran dealers for his integrity. Retailer Bob Menchey stated, “Clem’s word was all I ever needed.

Jesse Flores was the founder of Flores Music stores located in Peoria and Pekin, Illinois. He had the idea of surrounding himself with music when he was a young boy and when the chance came to open a store, he took it. The year was 1957.

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