The MagazineMarketplaceEventsResourcesNewsContact


Industry Veteran Danny Rocks Passes Away
Danny Rocks, who served as the emcee and helped manage the Idea Center at NAMM shows since 2006, passed away in his Palm Desert, California, home early last week. He was 64.

Rocks was the founder of The Company Rocks, a firm dedicated to education for business professionals, companies and associations. He took on a wide variety of projects, from working with NAMM to creating business instructional videos.

Prior to forming the company in 2006, Rocks served a 26-year career in executive roles at Alfred Music as well as nine-years at G. Schirmer, Inc.

Word of Rocks' passing spread quickly on the Wednesday before Summer NAMM, eliciting both shock and fond memories of a man known for his vibrant personality, professionalism and dedication to the industry.

“After a long and storied career in the music products industry, Danny Rocks became the face of the NAMM Idea Center,” said Joe Lamond, NAMM president and CEO. “However, what many people don’t realize is that Danny was much more than the emcee of the sessions. He was a consultant and early visionary with the revamping of NAMM U in the mid-2000s. From there, he was a mentor for presenters, a planner and a co-manager of the sessions. Because of his work with NAMM U, Danny was able to directly and positively impact tens of thousands of NAMM members over the years. And he always did it with a smile on his face.”

“He was the coach, he was the emcee,“ said Ken Wilson, former NAMM director of professional development, who hired Rocks to work the Idea Center. “If somebody cancelled, Danny could be on the stage, do that session, and he could do a good one. He was incredibly conscientious. He took it very seriously. To me, he was the heart of that thing. He knew everybody. He coordinated everybody. He worked non-stop. He was just great. And he loved it.”

“Danny knew more about this business than anyone else I have ever met,” said Ron Manus, president of Alfred Music. “To watch him at a convention was a joy. He always knew everyone's name and remembered everything about them. He was impressive. I loved Danny's unique style and his exaggerated hand gestures when he was speaking to a group. His up-close and firm hand shake always made me smile and feel special, as if I was in Danny’s special club. Danny is one of the pillars of our industry, a proud face on the music industry's Mount Rushmore. He was a colleague to some, a mentor to many and a friend to all.”

Rocks began his career as a pianist. He performed in and conducted Broadway pit bands, including serving as assistant conductor of the 1976 production of “Fiddler On The Roof” starring Zero Mostel.

Rocks was an active member of the Music Teachers National Association, the American Music Conference and the Retail Print Music Dealers Association. He received RPMDA's highest honor for lifetime achievement, the Dorothy Award, in 2011.