Arnold Berlin


Oral History Information

Interview Date
Job Title
Former President
Company Name
Chicago Musical Instruments

Arnold Berlin was a one-time president of Chicago Musical Instruments (CMI) and co-founder of Norlin Music Corp. He is also Mr. M.H. Berlin’s son, one of the true icons of the industry. Arnie spoke of how his father got started in the industry as well as how he was able to grow the company into one of the major players within the music products industry. Arnie also spoke of his own career, which began in the late 1950s. While he was attending Harvard, he met Nort Stevens (the “nor” to Arnie Berlin’s “lin” to make up the company’s name –Norlin). The company played a key role in the expansion of music mall retailing in the 1970s with the ownership of Lowrey Organ Company, which developed the mall-licensing program.