Library - In Memoriam

Remembering oral history interviewees who have passed away.

Dusti Dryer was just one year old when she was dubbed the world’s youngest musician. A photograph of her playing the harmonica, or rather holding it, was featured in a magazine and launched her career as a musician.

Don Stewart was hired in 1957 by the famous composer Roy Harris to copy music – by HAND. Back in those days, the cost for plate engraving was too high and the music typewriters were not yet sophisticated enough to handle the scores.

William Cordier remembered piling in the family car for a road trip to their favorite lake northwest of their home in Ohio.  Each and every trip included a detour into Elkhart, Indiana where his father would pull over and show off the large sign announcing the "World's Biggest Mu

Irv Kratka had the idea of creating recordings of music while leaving out an instrument, such as the piano. Piano students and enthusiasts could then play along with the band on the recording, providing the missing music.

JD Crowe recalled seeing Earl Scruggs perform in Lexington with Lester Flatt when he was a kid.  The sound was so unique and different that all young JD could think about was getting a banjo!  He did and, well, the rest is history.  Jimmy Martin hired DJ when he was just 16 and t

Ryoji Okamoto was the chairman for Kiwaya Corporation in Japan, which was established in 1919 and has since become one of the most important manufacturers of the ukulele. With his keen interest in the instrument, Mr.

Harry Voshell started playing the saxophone in the fourth grade and fell in love!  His interest in music grew over the years as he served in the United States Navy, where he played in several bands during his three years in the service.  During college he studied music with an id

Michael Nesmith is best known as the woolen hat-wearing member of iconic television pop band the Monkees, which enjoyed massive global success during the 1960s.

Doug LaLonde was a professional musician before being drafted to serve in the US Army during the Korean War.  He played percussion in the army and while stationed in San Francisco began his long and successful career with the Sherman Clay retail chain.  Doug began in the MI depar

Buddy Merrill played the pedal steel guitar on the Lawrence Welk TV program from its start in 1954 until he left the show in 1974.

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