Memories of Bygone Days   1 comment

Bill2Sitting at the computer, looking out the window above the monitor at the birds flying to the feeders, the sunlight making shadow images in the woods, drinking coffee and thinking about bygone days. Not wistful, not wanting to go back, just enjoying memories as they come and go, playing tag in my mind. These memories are some of the good ones. The Marshall Music Days.

In 1966 I went to work at Marshall Music Company in Lansing Michigan. I started out as a counter sales person selling everything from clarinet reeds to Gibson guitars. However it wasn’t all that long before the owner (W.W. (Bill) Marshall) noticed that more and more of the young “garage band” members were coming to me for their “rock and roll” merchandise and in a matter of time he put in a separate Guitar and Amp Department to service this growing group of buyers. Maybe because I was the youngest (27) member of the sales team I was made manager of the department.

Those were the years… I loved working with these kids. They were so full of energy, drive and desire. And they were talented. Most of them were self-taught on their instrument of choice. I hired some kids just out of high school (and some still in) to help work the department. Jim Hosley (Plain Brown Wrapper), George Hurrell (Paris Bakery) and Gary Manthei (Paris Bakery) were some of my “main men”. And they always managed to keep me on my toes! (Love the gleam in George’s eye as he looks ready to break that gourd over my head!)

Sometimes during those wonderful years we were so busy on Saturdays we couldn’t get out to lunch. Mr Marshall would go next door to the “greasy spoon” and bring us back something to munch on in between customers. One Saturday Mrs. Marshall stood on the mezzanine and counted over 100 kids on the sales floor! We loved it, the kids loved it and some of them 40+ years later still remember those days.

One of the groups that used to frequent the store was Tonto and the Renegades composed of Gary Richey, Tom Kirby, Bill Ford and Terry Slocum from the Grand Ledge. In 2012 they were inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends online Hall of Fame. In addition, three of their recordings have been voted Legendary Michigan Songs: “Little Boy Blue” in 2008, along with “Anytime You Want Some Lovin’” and “No Easy Way Out” in 2012. Tom and Terry, who I had become “friends” with on Facebook, invited Shirlee and I to attend the induction ceremony in Grand Ledge and also asked me to say a few words. I felt and still feel, honored to have been a part of that ceremony. In addition they also remembered Marshall Music and myself in their band history at the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends site.

So, like Bob Hope, I say thanks for the memories guys. Not only Tonto and The Renegades, but all the others who I have reconnected with after all these years who still remember those days. It was a great time and you were all great kids. I feel grateful and yet humble to have had a part in your lives.

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Posted May 17, 2014 by hwilliam in Photography

One response to “Memories of Bygone Days

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  1. Can’t believe that’s you.q

    Ann Charlesworth

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