Electro-Voice History (and the Importance of Keyword Tags)

One important element of the NAMM Oral History collection is that by capturing interviews with several people who worked at one company at different times and in different positions, we can gain a larger portrait of that company and its products that could not be ascertained by merely one interview on the topic.

A great example of this concept is demonstrated with the collection of interviews surrounding Electro-Voice Company.  The company, known in the industry as EV, began in the 1920s and was the brainchild of engineer Al Kahn.  On July 14, 2002, Mr. Kahn sat in front of our cameras to discuss his career and the growth of his company over the years.  Also on hand, that day was Donald Kirkendall, the company’s Advertisement Executive and George Riley who served as EV’s Product Development Manager.  These gentlemen provided a wonderful introduction to the company, its early successes, and products.

Several years later, Mr. Riley suggested we interview Paul McGuire.  Paul, who lives in Buchanan, Michigan, where the EV plant was located for many years, served as president during the 1990s and early 2000s bringing our collection a more recent perspective that included the product line development of the 1970 and 80s, as well as those offered during his presidency.  EV engineer Jim Long was also interviewed on the same day, May 13, 2010. Jim worked for the company since the 1960s beginning as a summer intern.  

Within the collection, there are several other stories related to EV including some who did not work for the company such as Stanley Lager.  Stanley was the founder of Dale Audio in New York City, New York, and was called on by the Electro-Voice company rep back in the 1940s. Stanley, along with other retailers and wholesalers have contributed stories of the early EV product line and the development of the company from their point of view. He was interviewed on June 13, 2007.

In order to better discover this level of the NAMM Oral History program, please check out the keyword tags located at the bottom of each and every webclip. These tags range in topic from company names, such as Electro-Voice to product names such as The Hammond B-3, influential musical trends, and bands such as The Beatles and even social topics such as World War II and the Civil Rights Movement.


We encourage you to explore and let us know if this collection has been helpful to you in your learning and appreciation of the music products industry.

Dan Del Fiorentino
Music Historian