Oral History -

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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 Arnald 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.

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.