1970s

1977-NAMM-1
  • An unusual picture caught by John Shaffer's sharp eye! L to R: George Benson, Robert Conti, Les Paul (in black suit facing sideways)
1976-Philadelphia-1
  • 1973 - A few more of the Philly boys L to R: Gene, Arnold, Bob
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  • This was the promo photo of "Three Guys From Italy" L to R: Tony Barcaro, Robert Conti, Michael Frieda
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  • A press review of "Three Guys From Italy"
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  • The only one of a kind - Whit Heamon
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  • Phillip and Richard, two of the five infamous "Cratem Brothers" whose band was comprised of all family members including Phillip Sr., A True Master of Ceremony! Great people!
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  • Cartoon drawn by a student, Jimmy Barcaro. Captures the spirit of that studio! Lots of laughs..
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  • Cartoon drawn by a student, Jimmy Barcaro. Captures the spirit of that studio! Lots of laughs..
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  • A very young Carl Hardwick, who became a fine guitarist and a computer whiz. Carl relocated to Los Angeles in late 1989, one year after Conti, and he is credited in Conti's books as having compiled all the tablature, and other editing functions!!
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  • Jimmy Brown is another fine guitarist who became one of Bob's students in the mid sixties, and returned again in the late seventies for more advanced studies. He is very active as a guitarist and a first class sound man!
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  • Jazz Accordionist and close friend, Tony Barcaro
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  • Walter Parks began as a student with Bob in the seventies. Walter was quick to learn all the tricks of the trade. In fact, he became quite adept at marketing his musical wares! For many years, he was the most successful bandleader in the North Florida, until he chose to move to New York city to pursue greater musical interests. Walter continues to tour the world as an integral part of a successful act.
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  • "Doc" Wyatt O'Neill! Simply one of the nicest people you could ever want to meet. In addition to being a great Doctor, he also learned to play the Axe quite well! He is shown playing his Conti Aria Signature Guitar.
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  • An old business card.
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  • A"Custom Made For" auto plate. A memento of the free rolling seventies.
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  • One of many news articles praising Conti as a financial whiz! This article was written in 1974. However, Bob had not actually reached thirty years old as incorrectly stated in the article.
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  • An outer lobby of Financial Development Corporation
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  • A clipping from the Florida Times Union announcing a new securities firm.
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  • The board room!
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  • "Big Al", A Conti confidante and lifelong pal!
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  • Conti was member of the prestigious Committee of 100 in Jacksonville, Florida.
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  • This letter and the following news article congratulating Bob for over Three Million dollars of production in 1971 says it all about his level of discipline and uncommon ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable conditions and a "... lack of formal education or business experience..."
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  • Robert Conti and Pat Brown accept a plaque as leading division reps for their contributions to nearly eight million dollars of annual production in 1972!
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  • Conti is pictured as one of the Multi Million Dollar producers on the inside cover of this 1973 Western Reserve Annual Report
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  • A rare Blonde Signature owned by Ted Licavoli of Tempe, Arizona. Ted purchased this instrument from a store in Germany.
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  • Conti with his student and ace rocker, Eric Lundgren. Eric was a hot player who gained national attention with a band called "38 Special." In addition to playing guitar he was also a noted surfing champion!
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  • Bob playing an Aria Signature
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  • Conti's studio was well known as "the hangout" for guitarists and other musicians. On many nights, impromtu jam sessions would start and sometimes go on until four or five in the morning. One night, some irate neighbor finally complained to the police about the musicians playing "that jazz music all night long." Fortunately, Claude Foreau, the responding officer in the picture, turned out to be another aspiring guitarist. When he walked into the studio that night, everyone froze! Claude had a big smile and said: "Crank it up!" Conti and "Claude The Cop" became good friends.
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  • These two look like they got caught in the cookie jar?
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  • Richard Smith playing the prototype Conti Signature Aria.
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  • Bob Lees soon became the house guitar repairman, and he was always good for a ton of laughs the minute he hit the door! Bob was also a gritty down to earth rock player who could make his axe growl with authority. Unfortunately Bob passed away in early 1999. He will certainly be missed and his loss will be felt by many of his friends and fans!
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  • Don Casper, also started as a student and quickly developed into a fine guitarist. Don also became an associate teacher in Conti's studio. A conversation with him would produce many stories of the endless jam sessions and ongoing pranks by the studio staff!
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  • As every visitor and student was aware, coffee and donuts were serious business at that studio, with frequent runs to the "Donut Joint!"
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  • Eric Lundgren
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  • A group of Conti's students in a lineup with their Aria Signature Guitars. L to R: Reggie Powers, Jesse Rosen, Bob Taft, Don Casper, Carl Hardwick.
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  • L to R: Dyke Snipes, Bob Taft, Gordon Pinkstaff
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  • Conti pals, Jesse Rosen and John Bruning
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  • Joey Groff with his Fender Jazzmaster made out of a basket of parts!
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  • Another hot jam session. As most guitarists in North Florida were aware, those late night sessions would go on until four or five o\'clock in the morning! As Conti would say, Those guys cook!
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  • Gordon Pinkstaff, Bob Taft
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  • Stretch Capitol
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  • Another group of Conti students posing for an action shot. L to R: Manley Mallard, Name Unknown, Funky James, Name Unknown
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  • Another group of students.
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  • Bob Taft, Conti, Gordon Pinkstaff
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  • A very young Reggie Powers with his new Aria Signature guitar.
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  • Steve Groff
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  • John Bruning excelled very quickly under Bob's tutelage! He became a good pal, and an associate teacher in Conti's studio.
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  • Bob Taft with his Aria Conti Signature Guitar, one of a very few Blonde models.
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  • Stretch Capitol and Conti
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  • The short hair in this picture was the result of an impromtu surprise haircut engineered by Conti and Denny Taylor! He continues his career as a guitarist teaching music and playing gigs in Jacksonville, Florida.
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  • A very proud Michael Wood displays his new Aria Conti Signature Guitar!
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  • Denny Taylor, a student who became one of Conti's close pals, made the first trip to LA with Conti in 1979 to record "Latin Love Affair" and "Solo Guitar." At the beginning of their friendship, Conti convinced Denny to become serious about playing the guitar. Denny did so. In fact after learning a dozen solo guitar arrangements, Denny actually went out and got himself a solo guitar gig!
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  • A very young Troy Millard, who started as a guitarist and switched to bass. Troy is one of the finest bass players in the country, and played in a group with Conti in 1987.
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  • Steve Haas with his Aria Signature Guitar
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  • The one and only "Funky James" with his Guild Artist Award
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  • Tommy Bayer playing Conti's 1957 ES-175
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  • Judy Mellon playing her Aria Signature Guitar, taking a lesson from Don Casper. Judy was a talented guitarist who could easily play the changes to Cherokee and other bop tunes at upper level tempos. Unfortunately, she lost her life while riding a motorcycle with her husband.
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  • Another group of Conti students in a clowning mode
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  • A gig at Sea Island, Georgia. L to R: Gino Gonzales, Robert Conti, Tony Barcaro, partial Doug Crescimano
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  • Bob became friends with Ray Holmes in the mid sixties, when Ray worked at Marvin Kay's Music Center in Jacksonville, Florida. Ray was also a fine guitarist, and repairman, who did lots of work for Bob's students, and his son, James Holmes, also became a fine luthier. In fact, Ray was also a great photographer who took those pictures of Conti in the music store with all the Strats.
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  • John Shaffer, a close friend of Conti's is another fine jazz guitarist. After spending many years in the Caribbean, John returned to Florida and is well known in the southeast. John accompanied Bob to the 1977 NAMM Show in Atlanta, and he took all of the pictures that document that event in another sector of this website.
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  • Just before the turn of the decade, Conti and two pals formed a trio appropriately called,"Three Guys From Italy" as they are all of Italian heritage and from South Philly! Picture taken in Jacksonville by a long time close friend of Bob's, Dr. Howard Schneider, a great photographer in addition to his profession of dentistry. He is renowned for his work with children. Howard also shot the photo of Bob on the "Jazz Quintet" album, recorded in Los Angeles in 1981.
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  • In the late seventies, Jesse Rosen moved to Puerto Rico for a few years of relaxation and playing after finishing college. When Jesse returned to the states, he started law school, graduated and went on to become a "big shot" entertainment lawyer with a major Atlanta law firm. Jesse now represents many major artists including B.B. King ! Jesse and Conti remain very close friends to this day!
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  • Conti gets even!
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  • Jesse Rosen caught doing his wise guy imitation of Conti!
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  • A mid 1990 shot of Jesse Rosen playing his 1977 Conti Signature.
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  • A real change in the late seventies from the old corporate image in the early part of that decade.
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  • Mike Bennick's association with Conti began in the late sixties as a student. When Conti returned to teaching in 1976 after a six year hiatus, Mike was the first to become associated with the new Conti studio as an instructor. Mike is a fine guitarist who still maintains a very busy teaching and playing schedule in Jacksonville, Florida!
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  • Bob playing an Aria Signature
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  • Gary Starling's association with Conti began as a student in 1966. Gary progressed very quickly, and in fact he ran the studio when Bob went on active military duty in 1967. Gary went on to become a fine jazz guitarist, and he is well known in the Southeastern area of the country. Gary could tell many stories about that first studio in the sixties, especially the 7 AM Saturday morning students!
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  • As every visitor and student was aware, coffee and donuts were serious business at that studio, with frequent runs to the "Donut Joint!"
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  • Kenny Levine is an exceptional musician and arranger. This picture was taken in the early part of 1979, while Kenny was preparing the charts for Bob's first recording, "Latin Love Affair."
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  • Joe Caramelli was not a guitar player, but well known around the studio as "one-a-da-boys!"
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  • Denny Taylor
1976-Philadelphia-2
  • L to R: Tony Gugliuzza, Pat Martino, Robert Conti As always, clowning around, Pat taking it all in.
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  • Tony Gugliuzza, The "Twister." One of Conti's best memories of the Twister goes back to 1962. One day as they came out of Southern High School, there was a loudspeaker blaring "The Girl From Ipanema" out of one of the stores at bustling intersection of Broad & Snyder! As they made a routine daily stop to buy a Philly soft pretzel, Conti said, "Hey Twist, where is Ipanema?" After a moment of deep thought, the Twister confidently replied, "I'm pretty sure it's the Cuban section of North Philly!"
1976-Philadelphia-5
  • Taken in July of 1976, while Conti was in Philadelphia to visit his parents. During that visit, Conti's close childhood friend, Pat Martino, was performing at the Showboat, a hot Philly Jazz Club. L to R: Pat Martino, Robert Conti.
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  • L to R: Tony Gugliuzza, Robert Conti. As far back as the first grade in grammar school, Tony was always a clown. In the early Sixties, Tony's nickname became "Tony Twist", more commonly known in South Philly as the "Twister."
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  • Philly 1976 - L to R: Tony Twist, Conti's Brother, Arnold
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  • Taken in Tampa, Florida, sometime in the Spring of 1976. Conti had just returned to playing guitar after spending over six years in the world of corporate finance. The colorful shirts and draperies are a sure sign of the seventies.
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  • Joe Pass "passing" on some tricks to Conti.
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  • A bar somewhere in Tampa - Sure looks like too many drinks?
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  • Joe Pass and Angie Conti
LA-1979-1
  • Tucson airport as the plane was preparing for takeoff to LA. Everyone knows that Conti has no love of flying!
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  • L to R: Ray Pizzi, Robert Conti, Dennis Smith, Albert Marx, Milcho Leviev
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  • The dreaded mixdown! L to R: Dennis Smith, Bryan Campbell, Robert Conti
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  • Ray Pizzi, the quintessential comedian
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  • Share a friendly embrace after listening to a great playback!
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  • L to R: Robert Conti, Dennis Smith
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  • Conti was still a Florida resident in 1979. While traveling to Los Angeles for the Latin Love Affair recording session, Conti conducted a two day jazz clinic in Tucson, Arizona. Bill Evans was just completing a one week Artist In Residence. The two musicians became friends during that acquaintance. Unfortunately, the world lost a great musician in Bill Evans. L to R: Bill Evans, Robert Conti, Tucson, Arizona, May 1979
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  • L to R: Bill Evans, Robert Conti
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  • L to R: Bill Evans, Robert Conti
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  • Tucson airport as the plane was preparing for takeoff to LA. Everyone knows that Conti has no love of flying!
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  • L to R, Discovery Records Co-Producer Dennis Smith, Robert Conti and Albert Marx.
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  • L to R, Discovery Records Co-Producer Dennis Smith, Robert Conti and Albert Marx.
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  • Conti and Milcho Leviev discussing parts of the score during the recording session of Latin Love Affair.
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  • Ray Pizzi and Robert Conti, listening intently to a playback.
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  • The Latin Love Affair recording session begins!
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  • Albert Marx, Executive Producer of Discovery Records, Very happy with the results of the Latin Love Affair recording session!
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  • The Celebration Dinner at Emilio\'s in L.A. after the Latin Love Affair recording session L to R Denny Taylor, Dennis Smith, Albert Marx, Milcho Leviev.
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  • This picture was taken in a Burbank recording studio, just after Robert Conti completed the Direct-To-Disc recording of Solo Guitar, a few days after the Latin Love Affair recording session.
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  • L To R: Robert Conti, Gary Denton, Gene Goe, Ray Pizzi, Jim Lacefield Listening to a playback.
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  • Conti and Ray Armando head for the coffee machine.
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  • Milcho listening to playbacks.
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  • L to R: Extraordinary Bassist Marc Johnston, and Robert Conti
1977-NAMM-10
  • L to R: Robert Conti, Unknown Person, Attila Zoller
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  • L to R: Robert Conti, George Benson
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  • L to R: Robert Conti, Maynard Ferguson
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  • L to R: Chet Atkins, Robert Conti, Bud Eastman (Founder of Guitar Player Magazine)
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  • In 1977, Conti made a request for some design changes on an Aria Pro II Guitar. His ideas were well received and resulted in the first Conti Signature Guitar made by the Aria company in 1977. This picture was taken by John Shaffer at the Atlanta NAMM Show in 1977.
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  • L to R: Robert Conti, Les Paul
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  • L to R: Attila Zoller, Robert Conti
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  • L to R: Emmett Chapman, Robert Conti
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  • L to R: Attila Zoller, Lenny Breau, Robert Conti, having dinner after a jam session at EJ's Restaurant in Atlanta.
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  • L to R: Robert Conti, Jeff Berlin, Attila Zoller
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  • L to R: Attila Zoller, Robert Conti seated
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  • L to R: Bill Lawrence, Robert Conti, Ray Brown
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  • L to R: Bryan Campbell, Albert Marx