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Music Industry Mourns the Passing of Sam Ash COO Sammy Ash


Sammy Ash at NAMM

Jesse Grant/Getty Images Getty Images for NAMM


The music world is in mourning following the passing of Sammy Ash, the Chief Operating Officer of Sam Ash, one of the oldest music stores in the United States. Sammy succumbed to stage four melanoma on Saturday, 16th September, after courageously battling the disease for 12 months. His passing was confirmed in a heartfelt statement released by his elder brother and the current president and CEO of Sam Ash Music, Richard Ash.


In the statement relayed via SNBC 13, a heartbroken Richard reminisced about Sammy, highlighting his unwavering spirit throughout the challenging period of his illness. He noted, "My baby brother Sammy Ash passed away yesterday at 9 am. He was only 65 years old. He fought a courageous 12-month battle with stage 4 melanoma. I am heartbroken.”


Beyond being a pivotal figure in the operations of Sam Ash, Sammy held a special place in the music industry, having famously named the Tube Screamer, as acknowledged by the pedal’s inventor, Susumu Tamura. His influence spanned generations, establishing him as a respected individual and a dear friend to many in the industry.


Emphasizing his familial legacy, Sammy bore the name of his grandfather, the founder of Sam Ash Music Company, which originated in New York City in 1924. This deep-rooted history facilitated a lifetime of contributions to the music sphere, forging relationships and nurturing a rich heritage of music appreciation and craftsmanship.


Apart from his professional achievements, Sammy was a loving father to his four sons, a detail echoed sorrowfully in Richard’s statement as he lamented, “He was a loving father of four boys. Cancer sucks. Life is not fair. He did not deserve to die. He was a warm, caring, generous man.”


Tributes and condolences poured in from industry stalwarts, including a touching tribute from Gibson’s Mark Agnesi. Sharing a video of himself alongside Sammy on Instagram, Agnesi remembered Sammy as “a legend in the industry, a great father, and a passionate guitar nerd.” He extended his deepest condolences to the bereaved family, adding, “I’m proud to have called him a friend. My condolences to the Ash family.”


As the news of Sammy Ash’s passing reverberates in the music industry, he leaves behind a legacy characterized by passion, dedication, and a warm, caring nature. The industry indeed loses a great, but his contributions and the vibrant spirit of Sammy Ash will undoubtedly resonate in the halls of music history for generations to come. The heartfelt messages pouring in are a testament to his impact, underscoring a life well-lived, marked by generosity and a deep love for music. Rest in peace, Sammy Ash.



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