C.F. Martin & Co.

Bill Seymour played several instruments in school including the trumpet, drums, and violin. Early in his career he established a software company with a focus on relational databases. He was hired as a consultant to help the team at Pearl Works, which was fitting as he felt a strong bond with any...
Steve Miller led a popular rock band beginning in the 1960s with a string of hit songs, most of which he wrote. His passion for music began at a very young age. Did you know Les Paul was his godfather? The Steve Miller Band was formed in San Francisco in 1966 and went on to record some 25 albums (...
Dave Bresnan had a true passion for music that began when he was fifteen when he learned to play the piano. Throughout the 1960’s, Dave played guitar and banjo in several groups after discovering Folk music. During this time, he also realized his dream of one day owning his own music store and...
Fred Oster was encouraged by his cousin to play the guitar as a youngster, which quickly expanded to include playing the mandolin and the five string banjo. By the time Fred was playing banjo, during the height of the folk music movement of the early 1970s, he was hooked! He soon had the idea of...
Betty Comer has owned and operated Gibson’s Music in Corbin, Kentucky since 1969. When asked about the store, Betty fondly describes Gibson’s as “the Mom and Pop store but just with the Mom” as Betty has single-handily ran the business since it opened its doors. Betty sat down for her NAMM Oral...
Owen Ray recalls his father buying him a ukulele when he was a kid and his passion for string instruments began! Owen played a vital role in the Australian guitar market when he started repairing guitars as his day job while gigging with his band, the Countdowns, at night. While repairing Fender...
Bobby Bare Sr. began writing songs as a teenager and landed a hit record with the talking blues song "All American Boy" in 1958 when Bobby was just 18 years old. He followed that recording with several other hits including "Detroit City" and "500 Miles Away from Home." During his NAMM interview,...
Rick Nielsen is among the very few rock stars who grew up in a music store! His story and background is perfect for the NAMM Oral History program as it ties together a professional career in music making with mom and pop music retailing! Rick's father purchased a music store in Rockford, Illinois...
Stu Cohen grew up playing the clarinet, and took lessons for close to eight years. In the early 1950s, Stu listened mostly to country music on the radio, just because it was the only station that his radio would pick up. When he was in college, Stu got into country music even more, and started...
Ed Gerhard knew that there was something special about playing the guitar when he heard Andrés Segovia play on TV when he was 10 years old. He took a few lessons from a music store but learned most of his beginning skills from one of his neighbors. Ed has a unique playing style - combining the...

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