Oral History -
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.
Dick Dolan is the president of QRS, the historic makers of player piano rolls. He purchased the company in the mid 1980s and ensured that QRS continue to innovative products in the electronic age. His passion for the player piano resulted in a line of creative products including video linked player pianos.
Philip Dodds seemed to always be drawn to electric musical instruments as a teen, so it was no shock that he made a major contribution to the field of keyboard and synthesizer development over his long and successful career. He was hired by ARP in 1970 as the world was first being introduced to the many new sounds being produced electronically.
Don Dillon is an industry original! Throughout his 25-plus years in non-profit association management, Don has represented some of the best-known organizations in the music industry, most notably the Piano Manufacturers Association International and National Piano Foundation.
Bo Diddley was the pioneering rhythm and blues performer who taught the industry one main point in the early days of the electric guitar era. With his square cigar box guitar, patented by Gretsch, Bo demonstrated that, if it’s electronic, it could be any shape and size.
Milton DeLugg wrote many remarkable and popular songs such as "Orange Blossom Sky," recorded by Nat King Cole. He wrote TV theme songs and stacks of movie music. All the while, he was working with and becoming friends with the great American tunesmiths, being one of them himself.
Joey DeFrancesco has single handedly brought back the popularity of the Hammond B-3, beginning in the 1990s. Joey’s soulful approach echoes his heroes of the past such as Jimmy Smith, whom he recorded with in 2005. Joey has also brought the organ style up-to-date to be played smoothly in jazz. Under Suzuki the B-3 was put back in production in 2004 and with Joey’s promotion both as an endorsee and performer the instrument is once again playing a role in modern music.
Murray Davison was a trumpet player who had a few gigs during the Big Band Era, but had to get a day job after the war. While he became a successful businessman, music was never far away. In the 1960s, he established the "Jazz at Noon" concert series in New York City and, a decade later, began writing jazz articles for publications.