Oral History -

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Sol Fleising worked for Erikson’s Musical after earning his business degree and even worked in a small music retail store for a while, but he had a vision to own his own company. During the boom of pro audio and electronic instruments of the 1970s, Sol focused on bringing products to the Canadian market that otherwise may not have been covered by the larger wholesalers at the time. SF Marketing built a strong reputation for service and innovative products, which Sol took great pride in developing and expanding into new or different markets.

Maynard Ferguson’s first big time gig was with the Boyd Raeburn Orchestra. He later played his unique trumpet style, with plenty of high notes, with Charlie Barnet, Jimmy Dorsey, Stan Kenton and others. He also enjoyed success as an innovative soloist with his many own small groups and countless recording dates including those with his Birdland Dream Band, which was formed in 1956.

Sandy Feldstein played an important role in the publishing of music and method books on percussion. With a sharp understanding of the publishing business and music education, Sandy has been at the forefront of technology and marketing methods, which have had success around the world. As a composer, Sandy is well known in the percussion industry for clever and memorable works.

Roy Ernst discovered a way to involve an older generation in the great experience of music making. While teaching at Eastman’s School of Music, Roy designed a program for the 50-plus population who perhaps have not ever played an instrument or have not since childhood.

Buddy Emmons is on the short list of the most influential steel pedal guitarists in the world. Along with Alvino Rey and Speedy West, Buddy helped define the role of the instrument in pop and country music. We proudly note that all three of these legends are now included in the NAMM Oral History Collection.

Walter Ehret was the music arrangers’ equivalent to Mel Blanc – the man with a thousand voices. Walter was the man with a thousand pseudonyms. Under his various names, he arranged for most of the major publishers over a career that spanned over 50 years. His work was mostly centered around choral music. He had a strong interest in bringing to light lost works and works of composers who had gone largely unnoticed. He was a pioneer in music publishing and a man with great talent.  His NAMM Oral History was completed on June 9, 2007.  Mr.

Val Eddy was a legendary vibraphonist and composer who played a large part in the early acceptance of the vibraphone in classical music and popular recordings.

Steven Eaklor is a walking encyclopedia of the history of the electronic organ –especially the Hammond organ. Since he was a child he has loved the Hammond and ironically enough grew up to become one of the company’s product engineers.

Charles J. Dumont’s grandfather and uncle opened a sheet music distribution company in 1945. The company, Charles Dumont and Son in Philadelphia, became one of the key jobbers within the industry. At the age of 13, Charles J. Dumont ran errands for the company.

Pat Downes combined his engineering background with his passion for music to create the electronic air drums.  Forming the company Palm Tree Instruments, Pat became an inventor in the world of electronic mechanical devices that produce sounds.  The air drums are among his most noted products, which relied on computerized sensors that detect the motion of hands and arms to create music. 

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