Oral History -
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.
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.