Library - In Memoriam

Remembering oral history interviewees who have passed away.

Don Wilson was a founding member of the instrumental rock band, The Ventures! He formed the band with his friend Bob Bogle. Shortly after their first hit, “Walk Don’t Run,” Nokie Edwards, who was also interviewed for the NAMM Oral History program, joined the band.

Dallas Frazier was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame for writing such hits as "There Goes My Everything" and "Elvira." "There Goes My Everything" has been recorded dozens of times by artists such as Jack Greene, who had the first number one hit with the song an

Fred Parris grew up close to the Apollo Theater in New York where he was able to see many of the top acts in music.

Marilyn Bergman grew up very close to her future husband in Brooklyn, New York.  This may provide some insight into their magical partnership both as a couple and as one of the most celebrated songwriting teams of all time.  Together they wrote lyrics to classic songs that have w

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.