It is with sadness that KMC Music announces the passing of Charles H. Kaman, founder of Kaman Corporation. Mr. Kaman passed away peacefully this morning. He was 91.
It is hard to have worked in any of the Kaman companies without having been personally touched, inspired and motivated by Charlie Kaman. Known throughout the United States as an aviation innovator, Charlie is better known in our industry as a musical pioneer. It was Charlie’s continuing quest for a superior sound that led him in 1965 to develop the Ovation Roundback guitar. Throughout, Charlie continued to drive guitar innovation. He dared to bring modern technology and processes to guitar manufacturing. He applied composite materials, such as the Adamas® carbon graphite top, to guitar construction. He was the first to incorporate pickups and preamplifiers in the acoustic guitar, creating the category of acoustic/electric guitar and allowing the acoustic guitarist to plug in when playing live.
Early on, Charlie saw the importance of efficient distribution in the music industry, first acquiring Coast Wholesale and later C.Bruno & Son, providing the building blocks for KMC Music to establish a national distribution network while growing into the largest independent distributor of musical instrument accessories.
A visionary leader, a pioneer and an entrepreneur, above all, Charlie believed in the people at Kaman. He both challenged and encouraged his team while paying them the respect that they deserved. His goal throughout was to innovate and stretch boundaries. The success of his companies was a mere byproduct of these efforts. Though KMC Music is no longer a part of Kaman Corporation, we continue to take great pride in the heritage that Charlie provided. He will be sorely missed.
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