The NAMM Oral History team descended on Santa Cruz Guitar’s 40th anniversary celebrations to collect some very special interviews with those in attendance. In addition to capturing a second interview with the guitar shop’s founder, Richard Hoover, several key employees and performers associated with Santa Cruz were also interviewed. This includes luthier Paul Hostetter, who designed the famed H Model, as well as current builders Darren Webb and Adam Rose. In addition, the company hosted a concert for the special milestone, which included a few artists we got to interview, among them Catfish Keith and Don Edwards.
Past president of the National Piano Traveler’s Association and winner of their Lifetime Achievement Award, Kline Locher turns 97! Other interviewees marking a milestone birthday this month are music publishers Arthur Gurwitz and Hayden Connor—both turning 90 years old— and percussion advocate Lloyd McCausland will hit 85! Happy Birthday to all those celebrating in October!
This last month we lost nine interviewees, all of whom played a key role in the history of our industry. Chris Stone just won a TEC Award in January for being a founder of the Record Plant. Don Buchla helped to define synthesizers with a series of inventions that date back to the early 1960s. Skip Buss enjoyed a lifelong career in Memphis music retail, culminating with his last position at Amro Music. Tom Wilson helped dealers with his knowledge and fairness as a direct sales manager for Yamaha for many years. John D. Loudermilk wrote many hit songs and helped to archive the history of Nashville songwriting in recent years. Buckwheat Zydeco popularized Cajun music and inspired many to play the accordion! Sylvia Perry was a pioneer in music education and co-founded Peripole, Inc. with her late husband, Mack. Richie Pidanick proudly served as the vice president of Culture and Values for Guitar Center, where he inspired hundreds of employees over the years to pursue their careers in the industry with passion. Dan Smith worked for Yamaha when he joined Bill Schultz to help rebuild Fender, a role that was made for Dan’s keen mind and lovable personality.
Congratulations to Ricky Skaggs (interview class of 2010) for being inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville! The induction ceremony and concert is set for October 26 at Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium. Congrats Ricky!