Iowa

Carma Lou Beck was an active musician and teacher when she began working in music retail in Iowa in the 1960s. She opened her own store in Cedar Rapids in 1967, after working for a few other stores, including one owned and operated by the Wurlitzer Company. By the time Carma Lou's House of Music...
Jim Foster had worked for a few piano stores before opening his own store, with his wife Marilyn, in Bettendorf, Iowa.  Foster Family Music focuses on piano and sheet music for pianos and has come to be known throughout the area as a center for musical events, recitals and a strong supporter of...
Marilyn Foster supported her husband's idea to open a music store in her home state of Iowa. From the beginning, she looked after all of the books and accounting for the store.  She enjoyed the work and especially enjoyed getting to work with her husband and now, daughter Christi, on a regular...
Christi Foster-Nunnally grew up in her parent's Iowa piano store and recalls with fondness getting paid a nickel to dust each piano.  She became a buyer for a local chain department store and traveled frquently to New York for a few years until she decided she missed the music business.  Christi...
Michael Boddicker grew up in a music store, one his parents formed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and where his love for music began!  His amazing musical career has covered many areas, although in Hollywood he is known for his film scores and composing.  In the music industry he is well known as a pioneer...
Robin Walenta attended the University of Northern Iowa and Middle Tennessee State University before joining West Music in 1982. She was named president/CEO of the company in 2007. She was appointed to the NAMM ExCom and has also served as a board member for the National Association of School Music...
Wendy Kephart remembers her father bringing her to Kephart’s Music Center when she was a young girl.  While she did study music, she recalled it was because her father was a working musician that they often would visit the store.  Years later, after she married the store founder’s son, she...
Rusty Kephart is the president of the music company his parents established as a small music store in Iowa.  Rusty grew up in the store and developed his own passion for music, as a listener and as a performer.  After gigging for several years, Rusty joined his parents in the store and soon...
Tom Bedell began giving guitar lessons in his home town of Spirit Lake, Iowa.  Just a few months later, when Tom was 14 years old, he imported guitars with his name on the headstock from Japan.  The year was 1963.  Tom continued to make guitars and played in local bands, growing his wholesale...
Denny Lawson began learning and playing instrumental music while in college.  He soon found he had a great interest in playing music and switched his major to music education.  While he was a band director, a music store had an opening on its repair bench and Denny took the job to learn basic...

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