Luella Derwin

 Luella Derwin was one of the first women owners of a music store in America.  In 1937, when her bandleader husband Hal Derwin went on the road, Luella was left behind, “So one day I was thinking of all the fun we had with musicians who would come to town and look for a local place to have their instrument repaired or went seeking strings or valve oil.  I thought why don’t I open a small shop and do it myself.”  Derwin Music was located in Chicago, IL and was closed fifteen years later in 1952 when Hal was hired as the house band leader for the Biltmore Bowl in Los Angeles.  "I was happy to move out to California, but missed the store for several years before I became Hal’s manager, then I had plenty else to do.”  Hal Derwin enjoyed a long career as a ballroom bandleader, beginning in 1940 after working with Boyd Raeburn and Shep Fields. Hal passed away in 1998. 

Interview Date:
June 7, 2001
Date of Birth:
March 26, 1915
Deceased Date:
April 2, 2006
Job Title:
Relative, Wife of Hal Derwin

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