The NAMM Oral History Program Celebrates 4,000th Interview with Helen Meyer
CARLSBAD, Calif. – September 4, 2019 - The NAMM Oral History Program celebrated a milestone with the capture and publication of its 4,000th interview which featured Meyer Sound co-founder Helen Meyer.
In the interview, Meyer chronicled the history of the innovative audio company that she and her husband, John Meyer, founded in 1979 in Berkeley, California. She spoke of her love for music and the piano lessons she took as a child. While on a date with John, the couple attended a rock concert that had a subpar sound system. John turned to Helen and told her he thought he could make a better system. It wasn't long before they founded the company, and like John, Helen jumped in with both feet. While John was creating award-winning innovative products for live sound and movies, Helen focused on overseeing accounting, designing the parts department, leading sales, and running human resources where she was in charge of hiring new employees. She shared fond memories of selling audio equipment to music icons Frank Zappa, the Grateful Dead, and Jefferson Airplane among countless others. Helen also spoke of the scholarship program that she and her husband started to assist young audio engineers with their studies, a program that she is proud to say has been awarded to many women over the years. Meyer also reflected on her positive NAMM Show experiences and the changing role of women in the industry.
Since its inception in 2000, the NAMM Oral History Program has sought to preserve the rich history of the music products industry through first-person accounts from the entire breadth of the industry, including retailers, suppliers, sales representatives, publishers, instrument and product creators, innovators, founders, and artists. Notable interviews include the likes of Henry Steinway, Les Paul, Sheila E, Henry Goldrich (Manny's Music), BB King, Keith Emerson and Marilyn Bergman (songwriter). NAMM's Music Historian Dan Del Fiorentino manages the program, alongside NAMM Multimedia Specialist Michael Mullens and Oral History Coordinator, Michelle Schedler, with support from the NAMM Board of Directors, NAMM President, CEO Joe Lamond and the entire Oral History team who without their dedication, support, and vision, this program would not be possible.
When asked about this monumental achievement Del Fiorentino shared, "I am truly blessed, not only to be able to document these stories for future generations to learn from but to honor and remember our friends and loved ones. I have been lucky enough to have come away with not only an impactful body of work but an immense number of irreplaceable friendships."
To view a segment from Helen Meyer's interview, please visit https://www.namm.org/library/oral-history/helen-meyer. To browse the Oral History Collection in its entirety, please visit https://www.namm.org/library/oral-history/all or to hear the department's podcast, The Music History Project, please visit https://www.namm.org/library/podcast or your favorite source for podcasts.
The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry. NAMM is comprised of approximately 10,300 members located in 104 countries and regions. NAMM events and members fund The NAMM Foundation's efforts to promote the pleasures and benefits of music, and advance active participation in music making across the lifespan. For more information about NAMM, please visit www.namm.org, call 800.767.NAMM (6266) or follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.