Don Johnson Awardee: Jerry and Sammy Ash

Jerry Ash

The Don Johnson Industry Service Award is an honor reserved for individuals who go above and beyond to serve their community and the music industry. Named for the former editor of Musical Merchandise Review, this prestigious accolade continues the legacy of Don Johnson’s passion for the industry and his unfailing love of people.

We are proud to honor the 2019 recipients, Jerry and Sammy Ash from the Sam Ash Music Corporation. Jerry's father, Sam Ash, was born in Austria and immigrated to the United States at the age of ten, near the turn of the century. Bearing his name, Sam Ash opened a music-instrument retail store. Working for his father, Jerry rode on the New York City subway picking up sheet music orders from publishers and delivering them back to the store. After paying his dues, Jerry gradually assumed the role of leading the company and helped to oversee its expansion from one to over 50 locations, including its world-famous 48th street store in New York City.

The Ash family is the epitome of passion and grace. As Jerry states, “I’ve never worked a day in my life. I’m in the music business.” Regardless of perspective, their hard work ensured music lovers access to musical instruments and birthed a nationwide company full of MI professionals.

The legacy of the Ash family continues, as Sam’s grandson and Jerry’s son Sammy Ash remains at the helm. NAMM collaborated with Brazil’s MI organization, Associação Nacional da Indústria da Música (ANAFIMA), bringing his family’s legacy of management success to a special NAMM U session in São Paulo.

We congratulate the Ash family for their unshakable spirit, passion and dedication to the MI industry. Their recognition is much deserved.

Learn more about Jerry Ash, through NAMM's Oral History Program.