Feeling nostalgic for a simpler time? Have no fear! In honor of ISB’s 50th year anniversary, we will be sending out 5 installments of throwback photos from each decade of the ISB. All leading to this year’s Convention in Ithaca, June 5-10, 2017!

The First Decade of the ISB: 1967-1977

  • The International Institute for String Bass (IISB), the first incarnation of the ISB, was founded by Gary Karr, 1967.
  • Sixteen issues of Bass Sound Post and two issues of Probas were published by the IISB.
  • Three international conferences were held in Madison, Wisconsin.
  • The IISB went inactive for two years, then was relaunched as the International Society of Bassists (ISB) by Barry Green, Executive Director, and Lucas Drew, Editor in 1974.
  • 29 issues of the ISB newsletter were published.
  • An ISB sponsored composition competition was held in 1977.

From Bass Sound Post ’71:  Graham Phillips, a 17-year old high school student in Ilford, England, started his musical education on a slim, convenient clarinet.  Traveling easily back and forth, he played in both the school orchestra and in a jazz club’s jazz band.  Then seven months later, he abandoned the clarinet and took the bass.  At that point a problem common to pole vaulters, harpists, tuba players, and men who go shopping with their wives entered his life.  Moodily meditating on how to wrestle his big boomer aboard a bus, he happened one day to see some neighborhood small fry playing with a home-made wagon — and his mammoth problem was solved. He had since rode his bicycle happily to concerts, wheeled his bass behind him.

“Happiness is Bassists getting together” – Bass Sound Post 1971

ISDB 1977

1977 International School of Double Bass – a project of the International Society of Bassists held at the University of Cincinnati CCM (Bass World, Vol. 4, Issue, 1, Fall ’77, p. 327)

Schuller Quartet

The Schuller Quartet was recently performed by Elizabeth Pederson, Fraser Smith, David Murray and Alexander Tillery at a program of contemporary music in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Bass World, Vol. 3, Issue 2, Winter ’77, p. 247).

Bicentenial Fanfare

The World premiere of Frank Proto’s Bicentenial Fanfare, commissioned by Cincinnati Symphony.  The Fanfare features 8 bass players and a small wind ensemble (Bass World, Vol. 3, Issue 2, Winter ’77, p. 261

Soundpost cover w69

Bass Sound Post cover from Winter 1969!!

Kolstein ad77

Kolstein Stroller advertisement featuring Orin O’Brien (Bass World, Vol. 3, Issue 2, Winter ’77, p. 257)!

Probas 1972

Bass Sound Post cover from Winter 1969!!

Probas index 72
Probas 1972, index.
BarryGreen Probas72

Barry Green (Probas, ’72)

first ISB newsletter74

The very first issue of the International Society of Bassist Newsletter from Fall 1974!!


NewZealand Symph 77
Members of the New Zealand Symphony: L-R Dale Gold, Barry Johnstone, Anthony Rive, and Nicolas Sandle. (Bass World, Vol. 4, Issue 1, Fall ’77, p. 352).

Help us celebrate the ISB's 50th Anniversary