A Brief History of Humes & Berg

Humes & Berg

Willie Berg founded his company in 1935 while a struggling musician working in Chicago. Out of a bag he carried with him, Willie would go to all the clubs in the area and sell bandmember’s valve oil, reeds, cymbals, and many other essentials.

Many famous musicians took a liking to Willie, great names like Duke Ellington, Harry James, Count Basie, Woody Herman, The Dorsey Brothers and more. However, the real inspiration came from Glen Miller who encouraged Willie to make mutes for brass instruments so that he could blend the brass section. Willie then invented Stonelined Mutesm making them in his small apartment on the south side of Chicago with his wife Faye. Willie sold his mutes to musicians that travelled through town. The mutes have a distinctive look and are now a trusted brand available globally.

Willie died in 1996 and the company is now run by his son and grandson Irwin and Mike.