Oral History -
Drew Armentrout worked in music retail for years before being hired by the Roland Company to work in the electronic drum division. His early experience served him well as he viewed both the musician’s and retailer’s points of view when developing and marketing products for Roland.
Billy Arnold played drums behind several Motown recordings including those with saxophonist, Junior Walker. While he often played a Gretsch kit, Billy never fussed about having to set up his kit in the recording studio and gained a reputation for using the drums that were already set-up. After serving in the United States Army, Billy moved to Springfield, Massachusetts and hit
Kenny Aronoff gained a worldwide fan base as the drummer for John Cougar Mellencamp from 1980 until 1996. He conducted countless clinics in music stores from coast to coast and enjoyed long lasting relationships with suppliers such as Tama Drums, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth drum sticks, Evans drumheads and Shure microphones.
Ryan Arp is the Associate Band Director at Iowa City High School in Iowa City, Iowa. He gives insights on networking and recruiting the help of fellow music education colleagues from the University of Iowa to make a beneficial impact to his music program.
Brooks Arthur began singing as an early age, and in fact began taking lessons to sing in his temple before he was a teenager. While working in the mail room of a record company, Brooks heard his first live recording and fell in love! He soon was hired to engineer some products, which lead to a storied career recording several of the girl singing groups popular during the 1960
Mike Arthurhultz has focused much of his career on the Vincent Bach line of products. He worked for Selmer in Elkhart before it merged with CG Conn; however, Mike remained dedicated to the quality and innovative factors that provide the renowned sound of a Bach instrument.
Vivian Artley’s brother formed the Artley Flute Company in Elkhart, IN, during the 1930s. With an innovation that allowed the instrument to be made cheaper, Artley became a successful product for school band programs as well as a well-established and noted professional line of products. Vivian’s brother, Hube, and their cousin Don went into business together developing a bran
Derek Ash recalls that every family gathering always included talk of the music store. After all, Derek's great-grandfather was the founder of the family's business, Sam Ash Music. Thanksgiving was only complete with turkey, pumpkin pie, and talk of the upcoming holiday sales! Derek's first NAMM Oral History interview took place in 2017 when he was heavily involved with the pro
Sammy Ash was named after his grandfather, the founder of the Sam Ash Music Company in New York City. Like his grandfather, Sammy has a deep passion and understanding of the music business and although both men faced different challenges in different eras, they both felt customer service was the highest priority. Sammy has played a vital role in the company’s expansion. He
David Ash recalls the story where his grandmother hocked her wedding ring to help fund the family's store, Sam Ash Music. David's parents and brothers have followed in growing the business and expanding the one location into dozens more.