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Name Music
Number of Archive records 28

Associated Records

Image of Oral History of Rita Abrams - Oral History

Oral History of Rita Abrams - Oral History

Musician and teacher Rita Abrams was born in 1943 in Cleveland, Ohio. She graduated from the University of Michigan and did graduate work in Special Education at Boston University. In 1969, seeking a change of climate and scenery, Rita left the East Coast for the Bay Area and found a job as a kindergarten teacher at Mill Valley's Strawberry Point School. Inspired by her newfound home, Rita describes how she sat on a bench in the downtown plaza on Christmas Day 1969, and composed her now-famous song "Mill Valley." Rita discusses the value of music in her life and in schools, and talks about the trajectory of "Mill Valley" from its start on the downtown bench to international hit, including the

Image of Oral History of Larry Cragg - Oral History

Oral History of Larry Cragg - Oral History

In this oral history, guitar repairman and multi-instrumentalist Larry Cragg recounts a life engaged in two of the most important cultural scenes that took shape in Mill Valley during the 1970s: music and mountain biking. Born in Chicago in 1948, Larry first came out to California in 1967 for the Monterey Pop Festival. He recalls experiencing a powerful sense of belonging on that visit, prompting him to make the permanent move west later that same year. Initially landing in Oakland, Larry soon moved across the bay to Mill Valley, where he unexpectedly discovered his vocation when he started working at the newly opened Prune Music, a landmark in the musical history of Marin County. Larry recou

Image of Oral History of Verna Parino - Oral History

Oral History of Verna Parino - Oral History

Born in 1917 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Verna Parino lived in Mill Valley for more than 60 years until her death in 2015. In this oral history, Verna recounts how she moved to San Francisco in 1942, and soon after made her first visit to Mill Valley with her church youth group to spend a weekend at the Alpine Hiking Club Lodge. She tells the "romantic tale" of how Mill Valley's first Youth and Community Center was brought into being in 1962 - a project with which she and her husband Dick Parino were involved - offering it as an example of her adopted town's remarkable civic spirit. After Dick's untimely death five years later, Verna describes immersing herself in the world of opera, and discu

Image of Oral History of Bill Champlin - Oral History

Oral History of Bill Champlin - Oral History

In this oral history, musician and raconteur Bill Champlin vividly recounts a life devoted to music, one fundamentally shaped by his experience growing up in Mill Valley. Born across the bay in Oakland in 1947, Bill moved with his mother and two sisters to Mill Valley when he was 12 years old. Rock n' roll and R&B were sweeping through Marin in the 1960s, and Bill describes his total immersion in the local music scene, even while still a student at Tam High, and in the broader context of the Vietnam War and the racial tensions of the time. Bill recalls many of the great musicians he has known and played with over the years; the development of his major band, the Sons of Champlin, which he sta

Image of Oral History of John Goddard - Oral History

Oral History of John Goddard - Oral History

Born and raised in Marin, John Goddard had an active Mill Valley childhood, participating in numerous clubs and sports. His love for music also blossomed at this time. He began working at the local music store, Village Music, as a teenager. At the age of 24, John took over the store. Under his ownership, Village Music transformed into a hotspot for local and international celebrities, such as Grateful Dead band members and George Lucas, as well as casual record collectors. John’s anniversary parties at the Sweetwater Music Hall became legendary around town, attracting musicians like B.B. King and Elvis Costello. Because of a shift in Mill Valley’s economy, Village Music faced possible closure

Image of Oral History of Don Hunter - Oral History

Oral History of Don Hunter - Oral History

In this oral history, former Mill Valley City Manager Don Hunter recounts a life deeply committed to the community. Born in San Jose, Don moved to Mill Valley at the age of three. He recollects his childhood in Mill Valley, his schooling at all levels, including many unforgettable teachers at Tamalpais High, his enthusiastic participation in sports, the local music scene during the 1960s, his family life, and his work. Don began working for the city of Mill Valley in 1973 when he took a job with the Parks and Recreation Department, retiring 35 years later as city manager. From his years working for the city, Don discusses various town projects, such as the development of Bayfront Park, the co

Image of Oral History of Rob Moitoza - Oral History

Oral History of Rob Moitoza - Oral History

In this oral history, musician Rob Moitoza shares his memories of growing up in Mill Valley and participating in the local music scene since the 1970s. Rob recounts his first gigs as a teenager performing Hawaiian music with his parents while his two sisters hula danced at venues such as the Outdoor Art Club and the Marin Art and Garden Center. He describes getting into rock ‘n’ roll in the early 1970s and recalls his favorite bands of the time, touring bands he backed as a bassist, and some of the bands he formed, such as The Swingin’ Deacons with John Cipollina and The Opposite Six with Bill Champlin. Beyond the music scene, Rob evokes what is was like to grow up in Mill Valley in the 1960s

Image of Oral History of Jimmy Dillon - Oral History

Oral History of Jimmy Dillon - Oral History

In this musically infused and engagingly narrated oral history, guitarist, songwriter, and musical educator Jimmy Dillon recounts his devotion to music since the age of 12 when he decided he wanted to be a guitarist. Born in 1951 in Los Angeles, "in the golden age of rock 'n' roll," Jimmy moved to Michigan with his family as a teenager, where he started gigging with his first band, The Fugitives. In 1969, after finishing high school, he moved back to California with his sister Chloe, settling in Sausalito. Jimmy dates his "love affair with Marin County" back to this moment. He recalls the music scene of the early 1970s in San Francisco and Marin, as well as his own first bona fide Marin band,

Image of Oral History of Bob Greenwood - Oral History

Oral History of Bob Greenwood - Oral History

In this oral history, longtime director of the Tamalpais High School music program Bob Greenwood recounts a life devoted to music and music education within the context of some of the major historical events of the 20th century and against the backdrop of a changing Mill Valley. Born in 1928 in Charles City, Iowa, Bob moved out to California in 1943 when his father got a job working in the Bechtel shipyards, settling originally in Marin City. Bob describes how he started playing music while a student at Tam — beginning with the double bass — and joined the local musicians union at the age of 16, gigging around the Bay Area with dance bands. After high school, he continued his musical educatio

Image of Oral History of Austin de Lone - Oral History

Oral History of Austin de Lone - Oral History

In this oral history, musician and songwriter Austin de Lone recounts his musical career and his decades-long residence in Mill Valley. Born outside of Philadelphia in 1946, Austin started piano lessons at the age of 12 and took up the guitar at 16. In 1969, after a stint at Harvard, he formed the band Eggs Over Easy with Jack O'Hara and Brien Hopkins. Austin recounts being a young musician in New York and London in the late 1960s, pioneering what would subsequently be called "pub rock" in England. In 1972, he moved to Mill Valley with his band, and was immediately struck by the "fantastic mix" of people who then inhabited the town. Austin reminisces about Mill Valley's bars in the 1970s, esp

Image of Oral History of Antonia Cipollina - Oral History

Oral History of Antonia Cipollina - Oral History

Born to residents of Mill Valley in 1952, Antonia Cipollina grew up in Mill Valley and experienced life as a member of a well-known musical family. Her mother was a concert pianist, and her brothers John and Mario Cipollina were famous rock and roll musicians from their youths. A musician herself, Antonia began teaching piano at the age of 16, and was still teaching students in Mill Valley at the time of this interview. In her oral history, Antonia describes growing up in an Italian family, attending Tamalpais High and Marin Catholic, and going with her parents Evelyn and Gino (a beloved local realtor) to watch her brothers play in rock shows. Antonia recounts the lively family home of her yo

Image of Oral History of Charlie Kelly - Oral History

Oral History of Charlie Kelly - Oral History

In this oral history, Marin County polymath Charlie Kelly recounts a life coterminous with the "greatest bicycle adventure of the 20th century." Born in 1945, Charlie grew up in Mill Valley and attended Tamalpais High School. After graduating from Tam, Charlie briefly attended College of Marin before enlisting in the Army, where he served for two years in the mid-1960s. When he returned to Mill Valley in 1968 he began working as a roadie for the Sons of Champlin, missing only four of their gigs in 42 years. Charlie describes how he got into Marin's bicycling subculture, making friends, racing, and building bikes with such legendary figures as Gary Fisher and Joe Breeze, and he shares the orig

Image of Oral History of David Talbot - Oral History

Oral History of David Talbot - Oral History

In this oral history, writer, media entrepreneur and social activist David Talbot shares a life of political commitment and historical engagement. Born in Los Angeles in 1951, David first came to San Francisco as a teenager when his father, a famous Hollywood actor, was performing in theater productions in the city. David recalls falling madly in love with San Francisco at that time. He later attended college at U.C. Santa Cruz, after which he began his journalism career at Mother Jones. Though living in San Francisco, David recounts spending much time in Mill Valley in the 1980s and attests to a "soul connection" existing between Mill Valley and San Francisco. He discusses his career as an a

Image of Oral History of Wende Cragg - Oral History

Oral History of Wende Cragg - Oral History

In this oral history, Wende Cragg recounts her life in Marin County and expresses her intense passion for mountain biking. Born in Berkeley in 1948, Wende grew up amongst seven siblings in Berkeley and Oakland. In the late 1960s at Merritt College she met her ex-husband Larry Cragg, with whom she soon moved to Mill Valley. Wende recalls hanging out at Mill Valley’s Prune Music when it was a crossroads for Bay Area musicians. She also recalls her presence at the birth of mountain biking in the early 1970s and her participation (as the first woman and, for a time, the only one among a male-dominated cohort) in the development of the sport. Wende describes her first ride out to Tamarancho, recal

Image of Oral History of Leonard Asiano - Oral History

Oral History of Leonard Asiano - Oral History

In this oral history, Leonard Asiano recalls Homestead Grocery in the 1950s, one of the last neighborhood grocery stores in Mill Valley. Born in 1928 in Cleveland, Ohio, Leonard's family moved out to Mill Valley in 1949, and his father, Joseph Asiano, immediately purchased Homestead Grocery at 15 Linden Lane, which provided living quarters and rental income for the family in addition to retail income from the store. Leonard worked at the store while studying at the University of San Francisco in the early 1950s, and in this oral history he recalls several customers and neighborhood characters from that period. Leonard also discusses his father's quasi-professional music career as the founding

Image of Oral History of Lynda Crain - Oral History

Oral History of Lynda Crain - Oral History

In this oral history, third-generation Mill Valley resident Lynda Crain recounts her family history in Mill Valley and describes her own experiences growing up in the town. Lynda relates several stories passed down to her by her mother Helen Benson, such as a local outbreak of smallpox that occurred in the 1920s and the Great Fire of 1929. She recalls the various historic homes that her parents and grandparents lived in over the course of many decades. She fondly remembers several historic Mill Valley businesses, including the Suey Kee Market, Mayer's Department Store, and Varney's Hardware. Lynda evokes some colorful characters and scenes from Mill Valley's past in her oral history, includin

Image of Oral History of Tom Killion - Oral History

Oral History of Tom Killion - Oral History

In this oral history, renowned artist, writer and historian Tom Killion recounts his upbringing in Mill Valley and how it shaped his artistic development. Born in 1953, Tom recalls having had an early talent for drawing that was inspired by Mount Tam, encouraged by his parents and nurtured by the local artistic and cultural community. Tom recalls attending Tamalpais High School in the 1960s, which "felt like the center of the universe" on account of the vibrant music scene that had migrated over from San Francisco. Tom describes his long-time relationship with Mill Valley's Fall Arts Festival, a relationship that began when he first sold some of his art there as a high school student. After g

Image of Oral History of Gary Fisher - Oral History

Oral History of Gary Fisher - Oral History

In this oral history, mountain bike pioneer Gary Fisher recounts his participation in the development of the sport and the industry for which Marin County has become world famous. Gary describes how he got into racing bicycles at the age of 12 while living in Burlingame. His passion for bicycles initially set him apart from his peers, he recalls, making him something of an "outcast." After two years at Burlingame High School, his family moved to Belvedere and Gary started attending Redwood High School. Gary recalls moving to Fairfax where he met and became friends with Charlie Kelly and other legends from the history of mountain biking. Gary characterizes Marin as a place of creative synergy,

Image of Oral History of Joe Angiulo - Oral History

Oral History of Joe Angiulo - Oral History

In this oral history, Mill Valley music man Joe Angiulo discusses his nearly four decade-long career as a music teacher in Mill Valley’s public schools, his family life, his community involvement, and his abiding love of music. Born in Ohio in 1941 to Italian immigrant parents, Joe recounts moving to California after graduating from high school, originally touching down in Sacramento where an elder brother of his was living. A trumpeter since the age of 12, Joe decided to move to San Francisco and study music at San Francisco State University. In 1966 he got hired to teach music—strings, to be exact—in the Mill Valley School District. In 1972 he married his wife Gail Retka, a French teacher i

Image of Oral History of Bernice Mattos Schneider - Oral History

Oral History of Bernice Mattos Schneider - Oral History

A longtime resident of Mill Valley, Bernice Mattos Schneider was an accomplished soprano and participated in many local operas and plays. In this oral history interview, she recalls the range of her musical experiences, including her direction of the St. Hilary's choir and her part in the marching band that played across the Golden Gate Bridge on its opening day. Bernice also describes daily live in Mill Valley and her classroom experiences at local schools like Summit School and Tamalpais High School. She shares stories about a large array of local residents and several businesses, tracing a path for the listener that wends through old-time Mill Valley and captures its small town feel. Ed