Oral History Information
William Gard (1915-1987) served as the NAMM Executive President for over 35 years, beginning right after World War II. In fact it was Mr. Gard who helped re-open NAMM’s offices, which had closed its doors for two years during the war. Those were critical times for NAMM and his leadership guided the growth and development of the organization and the industry! This vignette is comprised of several interview segments taken from those who knew Mr. Gard, including Larry Linkin, who Mr. Gard hired to replace him after his retirement in the 1980s. Also included in this vignette are his two daughters, Catherine and Barbara, his longtime secretary, Lillian Siegh, and Robert McDowell, the president of the Ludwig Aeolian Music store in St. Louis who also served as the NAMM Board President from 1969-1971. The only known film footage of Mr. Gard is also included in this vignette, which was captured for a TV program during the Chicago NAMM Show in 1966. It was more than timing that made Mr. Gard a great leader. He possessed an uncanny understanding of people and vivid passion for our industry, which is one reason why the NAMM Board of Directors created the William Gard Scholarship in an effort to encourage individuals to pursue education and careers in the music products industry.