Danny Rocks – the music industry loses one of its finest

Danny asks a Group QuestionThe music industry mourns the passing of a true renaissance man, Danny Rocks. Danny studied music at Temple University in his hometown of Philadelphia, and began his career on Broadway as a pianist in pit orchestras for musicals, eventually conducting the matinee performances of “Fiddler on the Roof” starring Zero Mostel. Danny became an independent print music salesman representing dozens of publishers, crisscrossing the country by car and putting his encyclopedia memory to good use. He joined the staff of G. Schirmer and that eventually led to an invitation to become part of the Alfred Publishing family. There he was a tireless advocate for music education and his international reputation grew. RPMDA honored Danny with its highest honor, the Dorothy Award, given for a lifetime of achievement and service to the print music industry, in 2011. In 2006 Danny founded his own consulting firm, The Company Rocks. A born teacher, he developed and sold DVDs for software like Excel, and was a sought-after facilitator and trainer for some of the country’s leading companies. But he never left his beloved music industry. Danny was an integral part of NAMM’s education team, and he played a major role in recent years developing classes and playing host for the Idea Center. But he never arrived for this year’s summer show in Nashville, and was found in his home in Palm Desert by security personnel who were called when he failed to respond to phone calls. While there is no official report of cause of death yet, Danny had been battling high blood pressure the past year, but he never slowed down. He gave 110% to everything he did, and always with enthusiasm and professionalism. Danny was a musician, educator, advocate, retailer, wholesaler, writer, speaker, photographer, mentor and friend. We will be telling stories about Danny for decades to come because he was that kind of person. Memorable. Personable. In his element when he was with people. It doesn’t seem possible that he is no longer with us. In the days to come we’ll be sharing our personal stories about meeting and knowing Danny Rocks with each other. Memorial service arrangements are pending, and we will share that information as soon as we can. For those who need to hear his voice again, his NAMM Oral History interview is at http://www.namm.org/library/oral-history/danny-rocks. His was the 500th interview, just another milestone in a brilliant career cut short. We love you Danny, and we’ll miss you.