Smokey Robinson Honored With NAMM’s “Music for Life” Award

Motown artist, prolific songwriter, producer, and beloved musical icon awarded NAMM’s highest honor at 2014 NAMM Show


Release Date

Thu, 01/23/2014

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) honored Motown artist Smokey Robinson with the “Music for Life” award. Robinson is recognized for his five decades of enduring influence in the world of popular music, and his long standing as one of the founders of the Motown dynasty.

At the 2014 NAMM Show’s Breakfast of Champions held January 23, 2014, NAMM president and CEO Joe Lamond welcomed the beloved writer, producer, and performer, whom Bob Dylan once called ‘America’s greatest living poet.’ Lamond praised the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s generosity in embracing emerging musicians, his genuine enthusiasm for new musical styles, and his enduring status as an icon that paved the way for so many contemporary artists.

“So much of what we at NAMM stand for is exemplified in the career and life of the legendary Smokey Robinson,” Lamond said. “His influence on musicians, producers, writers and even sound engineers continues to be profoundly felt today. He is a symbol of creativity and a beacon of inspiration to many.  His music is authentic and emotionally real, and it is his ability to touch so many people with this talent that makes Smokey Robinson a true ambassador for music.”

NAMM’s “Music for Life” award recognizes individuals and organizations that demonstrate support for and exemplify NAMM’s vision that the joy of making music is a precious element of daily living for everyone. Past recipients have included Stevie Wonder, Yoko Ono, Quincy Jones, as well as members of Congress, governors, business leaders, the Smithsonian, and Sesame Workshop.

A native of Detroit, Robinson found success early on as a founding member of The Miracles. The group’s success, and Robinson’s considerable vision and influence helped Berry Gordy establish Motown Records as a tidal force in the world of popular music. As vice president of Motown Records, Robinson served as in-house producer, talent scout and songwriter, penning hits for the Miracles as well as acting as writer and producer for The Temptations, Mary Wells, Rick James, Marvin Gaye and others. His accomplishments set the stage for an entire genre of dynamic performers and led a musical revolution that defined the sound of an era.

In 2006, Robinson was selected to be a Kennedy Center Honoree for his contributions to the arts and American culture. He is a member of both the Rock and Roll and Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, has earned a GRAMMY Legend Award and been honored with a National Medal of The Arts.

Robinson will release a duets LP in 2014, which will include a line-up of all-star duet partners performing some of his most beloved classic songs with him.

Photo credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMM

Article Type

The NAMM Foundation: 176 Programs Earn Distinction As ‘A Best Community for Music Education’

-166 School Districts and 10 Schools Achieve Prestigious National Designation-


Release Date

Tue, 04/17/2012

The NAMM Foundation today announced the results of its 13th annual Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) survey, which acknowledges schools and districts across the U.S. for their commitment and support for music education as part of the core curriculum. In all, 176 communities out of 237 that submitted surveys were recognized, including 166 school districts and 10 schools. The announcement comes in anticipation of NAMM’s National Wanna Play Music Week, (May 7-13) a weeklong promotion designed to encourage people of all ages and skill levels to experience the proven benefits and fun of playing music.

Established in 1999, The BCME survey is a nationwide search for communities who provide access to music education as an essential part of a complete education and exemplify commitment and support for music education. The BCME survey is designed and implemented in collaboration with The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service ( of Lawrence, Kansas, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.

The announcement of the 2012 Best Communities for Music Education campaign comes during a crucial time as school districts nationwide finalize budgets. The Best Community designation is a distinction worthy of pride, but is also a call to action for local music education advocates to help preserve and potentially expand access to their current music education programs.

Past designees have reported that making the Best Communities list had a positive effect on their ability to advance recognition and support for music programs. NAMM Foundation Executive Director Mary Luehrsen, encourages communities to use the designation as a cornerstone of vigorous advocacy for music education programs.

“We know that communities are struggling to maintain funding for many education programs and we applaud these communities that remain committed to a complete and quality education that must include music and the arts,” said Luehrsen. “We urge communities to celebrate the designation as a national recognition for their commitment to children and most of all, keep the music playing in their schools for years to come.”

Each school receiving the “Best Communities” designation scored in the 80th percentile or higher in the survey’s grading process. Participants in the survey answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and other relevant factors in their communities’ music education programs. The responses were verified with district officials and advisory organizations reviewed the data.

A copy of the survey can be downloaded for review at

In conducting the annual survey, the NAMM Foundation is joined by advisory organizations in the fields of music and education: Americans for the Arts (, League of American Orchestras (, The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation (, Music for All (, Music Teachers National Association (, National Guild For Community Arts Education (, Yamaha Corporation of America (, Young Audiences (, and VH1 Save The Music Foundation (

The complete Best Communities for Music Education roster is listed alphabetically at

About The NAMM Foundation

The NAMM Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to advancing active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs from the international music products industry.
Primary Media Contact: Lisa Cesarano
(914) 798-7134


Article Type

NAMM Foundation Announces Deadline Approaching to Submit Application for William R. Gard Scholarship

Program Designed to Support Employees of NAMM-Member Companies Pursuing Education, Careers in Music Products Industry


Release Date

Wed, 02/15/2012

The NAMM Foundation announced today that employees of NAMM-Member companies who are pursuing education and careers in the music products industry can submit applications to be considered for a William R. Gard Memorial Scholarship. The deadline for submitting an application is March 31, 2012.

Named for a former NAMM executive vice president, the William R. Gard Memorial Scholarship was established by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) in an effort to encourage individuals to pursue education and careers in the music products industry. Applicants must be employed by a NAMM-Member company and have worked a minimum of 400 hours with the company over the past 12 months.

To view grant guidelines and submit an online application, or for more detailed information about the programs that the NAMM Foundation’s initiatives support, visit or send an e-mail to

About NAMM
The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry and promote the pleasures and benefits of making music. NAMM’s activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages. NAMM is comprised of approximately 9,000 Member companies located in more than 52 countries. For more information about NAMM or the proven benefits of making music, interested parties can visit, call 800-767-NAMM (6266) or follow the organization on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Article Type

NAMM Comments to APHIS on Needed Changes to Lacey Declaration Form and Regulatory Requirements

NAMM provided formal comments on behalf of its members in the music products industry to APHIS—the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Documents provided via open public comment periods that ended on April 14, 2011, and August 29, 2011, are provided below and represent ongoing discussion with regulatory agencies to achieve much-needed changes in the regulation.

Mary Luehrsen

Article Type


NAMM Elects New Executive Committee


Release Date

Sat, 07/23/2011

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) today announced the election of its 2011-2012 Executive Committee. The election, which took place today at a meeting of the NAMM Board of Directors during Summer NAMM, denotes a change in NAMM’s volunteer leadership with Kevin Cranley, president of Willis Music Company in Florence, Ky., taking over for outgoing NAMM Chairman Tom Schmitt, president and chairman of Schmitt Music Company in Minnesota.

The election results were as follows:

Chairman—Kevin Cranley, president of Willis Music Company

Kevin Cranley is president of Willis Music Company, a 112-year old retailer and publisher based in Florence, Ky. After graduating with a marketing degree from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, Cranley joined the company and later became president in 1990. Willis is known globally for its catalog of educational piano publications and regionally for its seven full-line music stores. In addition to his work with NAMM, Cranley served as a board member of the Retail Print Music Dealers Association and a trustee of the American Classical Music Hall of Fame. He also is a member of the Northern Kentucky University College of Business Advisory Council, the American Music Council, the Music Teachers National Association, the Alliance of Independent Music Merchants and the Omega Group.

Vice Chairman—Larry Morton, president of Hal Leonard Corporation

Larry Morton is president of Hal Leonard Corporation, the world’s largest music publisher. Morton joined the company in 1990 and has served as president since 1999. Morton formerly served on the NAMM Board of Directors from 1999 to 2002. He has also previously served on the boards of Music Publishers’ Association, Retail Print Music Dealers Association, Make Music Inc., and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Morton holds music degrees from Eastern Illinois University and University of North Texas, and is a lifelong active musician.

Treasurer—Mark Goff, president of Paige’s Music

Mark Goff is the president of Paige’s Music, a school music retailer in Indianapolis, Ind., which was founded in 1871. Goff joined the company in 1985 and purchased the business in 1999. He is a member of Music Industry Insights Group and the Alliance of Independent Music Merchants. Goff previously served on NAMM’s board of directors and as president of the National Association of School Music Dealers and the National Association of Young Music Merchants.

Secretary—Robin Walenta, president and CEO of West Music Company

Robin Walenta is president and CEO of West Music Co., Inc., a six-store, full-line retailer based in Coralville, Iowa. Walenta attended the University of Northern Iowa and Middle Tennessee State University before joining West Music in 1982. She was named president and CEO of the company in 2007. Walenta is a past member of the NAMM Board of Directors and currently a board member for the National Association of School Music Dealers and treasurer for the Iowa Alliance for Art Education. Walenta is also a member of the SupportMusic Coalition, the Retail Print Music Dealers Association, ASID, the Alliance of Independent Music Merchants and Omega.

NAMM Representative—Joe Lamond, NAMM president and CEO

Joe Lamond has been president and CEO of NAMM since 2001, representing 9,000 manufacturers and retailers of musical instruments and sound products. Lamond has led the team of dedicated NAMM employees towards accomplishing its mission by producing trade shows including its annual ‘NAMM Show,' the world’s largest trade-only event for the music products industry; and then reinvesting the proceeds into grants, scholarships, industry promotions, public and government relations programs designed to increase active music making and strengthen music education in our schools. These efforts have increased consumer demand for NAMM Member products and services, positively impacted industry sales and ultimately grown the size and popularity of the NAMM Show. Prior to joining NAMM as director of market development in 1998, Lamond worked for NAMM Member retailers in Sacramento for 16 years including 10 years with the award-winning Skip’s Music. Lamond is a member of the San Diego chapter of YPO, Young Presidents Organization and ASAE, the Center for Association Leadership. Lamond is married and has two teenage children. He is an active outdoorsman and drummer.

About NAMM
NAMM is the not-for-profit association that unifies, leads and strengthens the $17 billion international musical instruments and products industry. NAMM’s activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages. NAMM is comprised of approximately 9,000 Member companies. For more information about NAMM or the proven benefits of making music, interested parties can visit or call 800-767-NAMM (6266).

Article Type

Bob Phibbs

Job Title:
The Retail Doctor

Bob Phibbs, a.k.a. The Retail Doctor, is a world-renowned retail expert. He specializes in business strategy, customer service, sales and marketing. Just a few of his clients include Lego, Omega, Hunter Douglas and Caesars Palace. With more than 30 years of experience, he has appeared on ABC, Fox, MSNBC and PBS, and his work has been featured in Entrepreneur, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. A conductor, he has helped grow thousands of retail businesses in every major industry. He was recently named as Top Voice in Retail for 2018 from LinkedIn.

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