Oral History -

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Ben Ash began working for his family’s store before he can remember.  He is the fourth generation of Ash family members to work in the company that was formed by his great-grandfather, Sam Ash.  In addition, Ben is the third generation Ash to be interviewed for the NAMM Oral History program, a collection that enjoys the support of his father Sammy and his grandparents, Jerry an

Billy Ashbaugh remembers with a smile his first drum kit as a kid and the desire to play professionally almost from the very beginning. He learned the ropes as a sub drummer and studio player before landing the gig as drummer for the boy super-group N’Sync.

Peter Asher teamed with his school friend, Gordon Waller, to form the group Peter and Gordon.  The two hit the pop charts during the golden era of the British Invasion in the mid-1960s.  They topped the charts both in America and England with several popular tunes, some of which were written by Peter's friend, Paul McCartney.

Gary Asher was working at Nuncie’s Music in Birmingham, Alabama when he provided a tour and interview for the NAMM Oral History program, just three years after the program began.

Jack Ashford played percussion as a member of the famed Funk Brothers, the house band for Motown Records beginning in the 1960s.  Jack’s unique approach to the tambourine soon resulted in his growing reputation for adding special layers to the music.  As a member of the Funk Brothers, he recorded several hundred hit records, which he continued to do even outside of Motown as he

Charles Ashley grew up playing music and teaching private lessons at an early age.  At the same time, he had a paper route and a part time job at the local music store, Brook Mays in Dallas.  Charles has also been very active in the church and music ministries.  While at Brook Mays, Charles met co-worker Richard Rejino and together they worked within the sheet music department,

Charlotte Atkinson is an organist extraordinaire! Showing an aptitude for music early on, Charlotte continued with formal education earning Bachelor and Masters degrees in music. At San Diego State University, she first met her husband, William, in Howard Brubeck's theory class.

Thomas Austin was a key part of the Sherman Clay team for over 40 years!  The store chain focused on pianos; however, Thomas recalls the home organ boom in the 1970s as the company was a Hammond Organ dealer.  The company was formed in San Francisco in 1870 and grew to be the biggest (for a time) and oldest chain music store operation.  Thomas was involved with the company unti

Byron Autrey can tell you everything you need to know about how a trumpet works!  And I mean everything.  He has studied the craft of trumpet design for decades, having been a player all of his life.  The mathematical approach he takes in understanding the flow of air and the vibration of the mouthpiece led him on many capers, including his most current project, designing a trumpet with Doc Severinsen.  As a symphonic musician, Byron can relate to all levels of players and he uses that knowledge in every horn he develops. 

George Avakian has produced so many pop and jazz recordings over his 50 plus year career with several labels it might be easier to list the recordings he did not take part in. Before entering World War II George had already produced his first recording, as well as writing about the music that he loved so dearly--jazz.

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