AUGUST 15, 2010
VOLUME 27, NO.08


Formidable Females


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ConventionTV@NAMM 2011
Music & Sound Awards

Table of Contents
Digital Issue Download

Class is in Session
We feature many of the new, hot companies that exhibited at NAMM in January.

Indictments Likely

Gibson Guitar is expected to face charges due to alleged illegal wood imports.

NRF Talks Jobs,
Jobs and More Jobs

The key to retailers' success for 2011 is, you guessed it, jobs. But a lot more was discussed at the 100th NRF Annual Convention.

It’s a Record!
We give you a huge review of last month’s NAMM show. Were retailers and manufacturers optimistic for the rest of this year?
MSR Exclusive Interview
Zildjian and Vic Firth have teamed up to form a percussion powerhouse. We met with Craigie Zildjian and Vic Firth at NAMM to give you all of the details about the merger.
Music Group's Master Plan
We get an exclusive look at the future of The Music Group, parent of Behringer, Bugera and more. We get an exclusive look at product launches, as well!

Knock it Off With the Knockoffs!
Counterfeit products are killing the MI industry. But one company is fighting back big time. We’ll tell you how badly knockoffs could affect the industry if left unchecked.

Music & Sound Award Nominees
We release the full list of nominees for Music & Sound Awards. See if your favorite product, person or company is nominated.

Taylor-Made For Europe
Taylor Guitars will sell all of its products directly to dealers in Europe beginning on Jan. 1. Find out why the big change was made and where Taylor’s European headquarters will be. We interview Brian Swerdfeger about it first.

We Cover it All!
For the second time, we honor instruments that get zero or little press...

A ‘Super’ Party on Kent Island
Experience PRS loaded up on celebrities, new products and much more. Get the full scoop...

‘Father of RMM’ Passes
Karl Bruhn, a tireless music industry devotee, mentored many and made awareness of health and wellness together a lifelong initiative.
Don’t ‘Skip’ this Story!
Skip’s Music Celebrates 30th Anniversary of its Special Event

I Just Wanna Bang
on the Drums All Day

Your One-Stop Shop For The Holidays!
Heathcare Provision Could
Be a Nightmare

America the Beautiful

Not Doubting Thomas
Mendello Retires, Thomas Named Fender CEO

Music City Myster

-The Latest, Industry, Dealers, People and Product Buzz and Showcases.

NAMM in Photos
A lot happened at NAMM in January to say the least. We capture plenty of it within our three-page NAMM photo collage.
The Music & Sound
Independent Retailer

We cover the sad passing of two prominent retailers and another named the "Citizen of the Year."
Music & Sound Award
Dealer Winners

Our list of dealer winners for the 25th Music & Sound Awards.
Music & Sound Award Manufacturer Winners
Our list of manufacturer winners. And, this time, we got them to provide comments on the victories.
Five Minutes With
Learn tons about Yamaha with Takuya (Tak) Nakata, president of the company's USA division.
MI Spy
Spy took a long flight from the cold of New York to the less cold, but quite windy, San Francisco.
Appraisal Scene Investigation
Rebecca Apodaca takes another look at the legendary guitar builder R.C. Allen.
Sales Guru
Unfortunately, Gene Fresco couldn't attend NAMM for health reasons. But he does have great information about a topic he hasn't covered before. He will help you get into your own head and make you believe. Believe what? Gene will tell you.
Business & Marketing
Carl Mandelbaum will present tips on how to develop your Web site.
Dan Vedda did attend NAMM. He has a lot of thoughts to share about the show.


Sharon Hennessey: Loves our industry, you will find out. She'll also tell you why she ultimately decided to join The Music People! And yes, she will definitely fill you in on her goals as a new NAMM board member.
Carla Alger: Being in the music industry is definitely the most exciting opportunity Carla Alger, chief financial officer at Two Old Hippies, has ever had. Find out why.
Dawn Werk
:Dawn Werk, Alpha Books’ director of marketing, heads a group that is responsible for 450 non-fiction books. Now that’s a lot! Music is a small, but very important, part of that catalog.
Sonia Vallis: Sonia Vallis might be an only child, but she grew up with a sibling that has now become like another child to her.-
Catherine Polk

Cyndi Fritz
Janet Deering
Kathy How
Sarah Heil
Sue Avant

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Janet Deering
Co-Founder, Deering Banjos
[September 2010 - Page 1]
Kathy How

When Janet Deering took an aptitude test at the conclusion of her high school career, she was told agriculture or sales were the best fits for her. “Sales? Anything but sales, I thought,” said Deering.
A test cannot determine a career. And, in Deering’s case, fate had made some decisions well before Deering graduated from high school.
“I was the third of three daughters and I had a brother who was five years younger than I was,” Deering said. “When I was 12, my dad needed someone to help him add on to the house. My sisters were teenagers and they wanted to lay out in the sun. My brother was simply too young. So, I was the only one who could help. So, I spent my summer using table saws, handing my dad nails, helping with plumbing and woodwork. I had a lot of woodwork training. You don’t realize how important that is. I took a lot of craft classes in high school.”
Deering decided to take a woodshop class. “Girls didn’t do that in those days,” she said. “I helped the boys with their projects because they didn’t understand some things. My dad was so proud of me taking woodshop. When a person he knew wanted to turn a closet into a walk-in closet, my father recommended me. I was 17.” Deering did the job. She made some money. Deering thought woodworking was fun. But would she build closets, or something else, with her important skills? Fate had already decided that answer, although Deering didn’t know it. “A tall man came to our house to teach my sister how to play the guitar,” Deering warmly recalled. “I was 14 and answered the door in my bikini. I had just been laying out in the sun.”
Growing up in the San Diego area makes lying out in the sun a cinch, so wearing a bikini when opening the door was perhaps much more common. The man providing the guitar lesson was Greg Deering. “He was four years older than I was,” said Deering. When you’re in junior high, four years is a lot. He taught her guitar and her sister played in a band with Greg Deering. “When my sister was about to get married, I told my sister, ‘Jenny, I would have married Greg Deering.’ She got really mad at me and told me I couldn’t say that.”
“About a year later, Greg was running the high school youth group in our church,” Deering continued. “We hung out and talked about the future. He said, ‘What do you want to do with your life?’ I said I wanted ‘to have a family business and make something that will be valuable and handed down from generation to generation.’”
Greg Deering inched in close to Janet and said, “I want to have a family business also, but I want to make banjos.” Janet looked at Greg and asked what a banjo was. Greg responded it was the round instrument he played when not strumming guitar at church. “Right after that conversation, I wrote a letter to my sister who was married and lived out of town. I told her, ‘I think I may want to marry Greg Deering. We have the same goals in life.’ She saved that letter.”
The future Deerings only went out on six dates because they were so compatible. They wed shortly after. “My parents knew Greg really well and, out of all of the guys at our church, he was the guy my parents hoped one of their daughters would marry,” Deering said. “When I told my parents we were engaged, they were blown away.”
The Deerings had a son, Jeremiah, in 1974. At the time, Greg had been working for the American Dream, along with Kurt Listug and Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitar fame. Deering was one of the founders, in fact. But he really wanted to manufacture banjos. Taylor and Listug bought out the American Dream and Greg Deering was looking for work. “Bob and Kurt said, ‘We’ll hire you’,” Deering said. “But that only lasted six months when Geoff Stelling, who had a banjo patent, made Greg his partner.”
Janet Deering thought the idea of building banjos was perfect. It fit her goal of making something that could be handed down fromgeneration to generation. At the time, however, she was taking classes at Mesa College.
After six months in business, though, Greg knew he needed another set of hands to help with the fledgling business. Janet was the obvious choice, given her background. She worked on the banjos and kept the books. In case the business went south, Deering joked she had a backup plan. “I grew a garden and raised chickens, so, if the business didn’t work out, I knew we’d have something to eat. That’s where the aptitude test and agriculture came in. It was perfect!” [Laughs]
The Deerings first teamed with Stelling to make Stelling Banjos in August 1975. The partnership only lasted six months because Stelling got an earful from an attorney whom he trusted that partnerships don’t work as business models. So, Stelling told the Deerings they should now incorporate as Deering Banjos and he would subcontract a lot of work, include selling and assembling Stelling parts.
A couple of years later, Deering began making banjos under their own name. The Deerings had a daughter, Jamie, on December 11, 1978. Jamie got an immediate taste of NAMM shows by attending her first at the tender age of one month.

Musical Minority
Deering said she rarely was treated differently than others were, even though she was one of the few women in MI in the 1970s. “I never worried about that,” she said. “I was in sales for 15 years here and only one or two retailers had a problem because I was a woman. I remember there was one dealer I had to hand the phone over to my husband because he couldn’t deal with a woman.”
However, Deering said being a woman provides her with a different perspective. “One of the great things about Greg and I running Deering Banjos is you get both a male and female perspective,” she said. “Both perspectives are equally important.”


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