Webb Named Guitar Center President & CEO

Guitar Center announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Darrell Webb to be the company’s new President and chief executive officer, effective today, November 17. Webb, a proven executive with experience growing multiple retail businesses, was recruited by the Board to lead Guitar Center as the company looks to capitalize on its growth prospects. Mr. Webb replaces former CEO Mike Pratt, who resigned earlier today.

2015 Best Communities for Music Education Survey Now Open?

Schools and districts across the country are invited to participate in the NAMM Foundation’s 2015 Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) survey. The BCME program applauds community efforts to provide high-quality music education for all students. Teachers, parents, school administrators, and board members can complete the updated and refined 2015 BCME survey now through Friday, January 30, 2015.

Throughout the survey’s 15-year history, many districts have reported that making the “Best Communities” list supports efforts to preserve and advance their music education programs. "As our school district has just undergone one of the largest mergers in the history of U.S. public education, this designation helped us to protect the quality music programs and teachers in our community,” said Dr. Dru Davison, fine arts advisor for Shelby County Schools in Tennessee. “It was extremely valuable.”

Trade Regrets: Jerry Freed

Jerry Freed, MI and audio industry icon and founder of Gator Cases, passed away on November 13, after a bout with cancer. He was 74. After college, Freed spent several years selling and representing Roberts Electronics, which co-branded consumer reel-to-reel tape recorders OEM'd by Akai. Freed then went on to also launch a line of guitar amplifiers by Califone, another division of Roberts, and left after Califone was purchased by Rheem in 1967.

Taylor Opens Artist Showroom at Soundcheck Nashville

On Tuesday, November 4, Taylor Guitars celebrated the opening of its new Nashville offices with an industry-and artist-filled open house. The new offices are located in the legendary Soundcheck facility, the industry's go-to location for artist services and backline support. The well-attended event was hosted by Taylor's Artist Relations team, with Taylor master builder Andy Powers also on hand. The event also introduced Taylor's new Nashville-based Artist Relations contact, Jason Herndon, who, along with his guitar tech duties for Blake Shelton, will be managing the office and artist relations activities in the area. During the gathering, Andy Powers took the opportunity to share some of Taylor's newest guitar offerings, including the redesigned, award-winning 800 Series, as well a few yet-to-be released guitars.

Yamaha ‘Test Drive A Hybrid’ Retail Promo Returns

In late October, Yamaha once again kicked off its national “Test Drive A Hybrid” promotion to acquaint more consumers with its groundbreaking series of “hybrid” pianos. 

The growing family of instruments—namely, the AvantGrand N3, N2 and N1, and the NU1 upright—are the only pianos of this type on the market. They are remarkable in that they digitally simulate the sound and experience of playing a fine concert grand piano—at a fraction of the cost, size and weight. The pianos feature exquisite craftsmanship, cabinetry and detailing, while offering a highly affordable, space-saving option to serious musicians who simply want a no compromise performance experience. Plus, they never need tuning.

SLM’s Craig Denny Promoted to Vice President, B&O

St. Louis Music has promoted Craig Denny to the newly created position of vice president – Band & Orchestra.  In this new role, Denny will be focusing band and orchestra instruments and accessories into one division, adding to an already impressive list of duties.

“Craig has shown a ‘Do what it takes’ attitude throughout his employment here,” Says Mark Ragin, CEO and owner of SLM.  “He has been willing to travel, take on new job responsibilities and support management decisions at all times, and we congratulate him on this new position.”

More Headlines...
Eastwood Guitars Warren Ellis MandoTenor

Eastwood has fused the popular Warren Ellis Tenor with a 4-string Mandocaster to create a completely new instrument. This dual cut carved alder body features both a 14" scale mandolin to the distinctive sound of a 23" scale tenor. It features a 3-way switch, master volume and tone controls and two single coil blade pickups. Retail: $999.


Pearl Crystal Beat Acrylic

Pearl celebrates the return of the original seamless Acrylic drum shell with new Crystal Beat Acrylic drum sets and component drums. Their upgraded 7mm seamless Acrylic shell comes standard in four stock configurations starting at under $900 MAP. Individual components are also available from 8" to 22" in UltraClear, Ruby Red, and Tangerine Glass transparent finishes for custom configuration.

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