Oral History -
Edna Mae Burnam authored the now classic piano training books “A Dozen a Day” to help beginners learn in a fun and meaningful way. Her books have been critical to millions of young pianists around the world for over 60 years. Edna Mae wrote her first song back in 1935 but was more interested in teaching music than penning a top hit.
Evan Brooks became interested in electronic musical instruments during the early days of synthesizer development. He worked on MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) controllers for E-MU and other San Francisco Bay Area companies. Soon thereafter, Evan started designing his own technologies and products.
Arnold Broido was an industry treasure! The man had sophistication and charm as abundantly as he had energy and ideas! Having worked in nearly every level of the music publishing industry, Arnold gained the respect of his peers and the confidence of songwriters such as Frank Loesser. After being discharged from the Coast Guard, Arnold found work in the warehouse of Boosey and Hawkes and quickly rose to the ranks of editor. After leaving the company he went to work at EB Marks Music and eventually Frank Music. Eventually, Arnold joined with Theodore Presser in 1969 and in 1972 began serving on the ASCAP Board. Mr. Broido created many standards in the industry, including those related to royalty (he served as ASCAP president) and publishing rights (he also served as MPA president).
John Bowen was an engineer at Sequential Circuits during the early days of the synthesizer boom of the late 1970s. John worked with founder Dave Smith, who later went on to develop the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) specifications. John helped write the MIDI code and went on to design electronic music products and to program music-related software.
Crane Bodine’s father, Elmer, was a piano man who formed a retail store in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1933. When Crane was 17 years old, he began working in the store. In 1962, he took over as president shortly after his father’s passing.
George Bishop had the idea of bringing the Canadian music industry together in 1971. With the help of some friends, the Musical Instrument Association of Canada (MIAC) was established not only to provide an annual trade show but to provide music advocacy throughout the country.
Charles Bickel was working on the bench at Selmer when George Bundy decided to try a different plastic emulsion for his idea of a plastic clarinet. The first try was not successful. Mr. Bickel recalled the look in Bundy’s eyes when the first Resonate clarinet was tested, “We all started to clap and cheer.” The product saved the Depression-weary company and, because of its low cost, allowed many families on tight budgets to still afford music for their children. Charles worked his way up to president of Selmer before his retirement in the 1970s.
Richard Bennett served many roles during his long career in music, perhaps most notably as the sales rep for Wurlitzer towards the end of the 1960s. His involvement in retail and his philosophy on customer service have had a lasting effect on his success and the success of the dealers he would call on.
Ray Benedetto and Gene Garb were interviewed together in connection with the 50th anniversary of NEMC (National Educational Music Company) at the NAMM show in 2007. Ray, the president and founder, has worked closely with Garb, the vice president, for 47 years. Together they outlined the original goals of NEMC of Mountainside, NJ.
Harry Begian was one of the most respected band directors in the United States. Serving at the high school and college levels for over 45 years, Dr. Begian conducted his first band while he was in his teens.