Trade Regrets

Trade Regrets

Layton V. Rawlins was the founder of Rawlins Piano Company in Southern California and a veteran of the piano industry. Rawlins witnessed many of the biggest changes within the piano business over his 50 plus year career.

Read more: Trade Regrets: Layton V. Rawlins

Trade Regrets

On Sunday, March 8, MMR received the following from NAMM's Dan Del Fiorentino:

Our dear friend, Lennie DiMuzio, passed away yesterday.  Already our industry seems a bit different. Lennie showcased what is most incredible about our industry - characters are allowed to be characters!  While conducting business, Lennie was able to be himself, and as a result, his creativity soared. I can't name too many people who had more friends than Lennie.  He was special - a treasure.

Read more: Trade Regrets: Lennie DiMuzio

Trade Regrets

Fred Dee Hoyt, 71, passed away February 16, 2015 in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Dee, as he was known, was born in Dodge City, Kansas on July 26, 1943. He graduated from Ford High School where he was an outstanding athlete (basketball and track) and also played low bass for the band. He attended Fort Hays State College where he continued his interest in music by playing bass guitar for the band The Tornadoes, cutting a record and touring.  While making music and pursuing his college degree, he got the “call,” like so many others, to put down his instrument and pick up the sales side of the music products business. It started at Hays Music Co in 1963 where he was hired as guitar manager. This opportunity gave him the experience needed for things to come.  Dee spent the next 50 years selling instruments, designing new products (guitars, amps and accessories), building sales forces and developing marketing strategies for the music industry. His innovations were industry changing and led to unprecedented success for each company he worked for.

Read more: Trade Regrets: Fred Dee Hoyt

Trade Regrets

Richard O’Donnell passed away on January 15, 2015.

O’Donnell was vice president of Yamaha Corporation of America at a very historic time in the company’s growth and development during the 1970s. He worked on several projects including managing the operations for the Everett Piano Plant in Michigan, which Yamaha purchased to expand its piano manufacturing. O’Donnell later oversaw the Georgia manufacturing plants for Yamaha and witnessed first-hand the growth of the company within the American market.

Read more: Trade Regrets: Richard O’Donnell

Trade Regrets

On February 12th, NAMM’s Dan Del Fiorentino sent the following regarding the passing of Fritz Kollitz, founder of Fritz Kollitz Fine Tone Woods:

Without a doubt, one of my favorite components of an interview is gathering in-depth details of a given topic from a passionate expert of the various segments of our industry. Never was there such a profound example of this than when I interviewed Fritz Kollitz!  What clearly came through within his interview was his passion.  He made the subject of tonewood compelling and interesting because of his knowledge and because he clearly cared about providing the best products possible for his customers. Just listening to him explain the process of drying wood for musical instruments becomes of interest because of his dedication to the topic. And he was a very kind person who supported his son, Oliver, when he turned the company over to retire.  He remained in a supportive role until his passing on February 11.

Read more: Trade Regrets: Fritz Kollitz

Trade Regrets

We recently received the following message from NAMM’s Dan Del Fiorentino:

At the time of DW Caffey's NAMM Oral History interview in 2012, he had been tuning pianos for just over 72 years!  This fact is made all the more amazing considering DW was blind.  

Read more: Trade Regrets: DW Caffey

Trade Regrets

Bill Tregoe passed away on February 25th. Throughout his 35-year career as a sales rep for CG Conn and later King Musical Instruments, Tregoe drove an estimated 1,300,000-plus miles.

Read more: Trade Regrets: Bill Tregoe

Trade Regrets

Bob See founded See Factor, a pioneering and innovative pro-lighting and pro-sound service. See’s career began when Bill Graham opened up the Fillmore East in the late 1960s. Bob cut his teeth in the lighting field as it was new to everyone. Many of the methods for lighting he created in those early days have become standards within the industry. Over the years See and his team worked with top musicians and performers around the world and expanded their services to include pro-sound in the early 1980s.

Read more: Trade Regrets: Bob See

Trade Regrets

Bob Cavanagh, former president of famed Boston music retailer EU Wurlitzer, passed away on February 7th.

Bob's deep passion for music is traced to his own guitar playing, which had the chops to play with Joe Pass among others. His role at EU Wurlitzer began when the founder was still active and progressed in the eras of his sons and finally when Bob took charge. He left the company several years before it closed.

Read more: Trade Regrets: Bob Cavanagh

Trade Regrets

Carlo Greco was known throughout the world as one of the premier guitar luthiers. After a long association as chief designer for Guild Guitars, Carlo joined his dear friend, Alex Carozza, in New York’s top repair shop, Alex Music, on 48th Street. Carlo created some of the world’s most-loved string instruments and had an equal reputation as a repairman of world-class guitars.  

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