Lyle Bird grew up in a musical family with his mother playing the piano daily. As a teenager he played trumpet in several swing bands during the big band era including with such leaders as Henry Busse. He played in a band during his navy service during World War II and again played in several small bands after the war before being hired by the Sherman Clay Company. Lyle sold saxophones for a short time, long enough he would say in order to realize he wanted to sell pianos. He managed a Sherman Clay location in Walnut Creek, CA and trained on selling organs direct to the customers in their homes and was the first to bring stand-up organ players to the front of mall stores as a drive for customers.
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