Kaman Music Corporation

Jim Gurley had more stories than just about any one else in the NAMM Oral History collection!  He taught guitar in Los Angles area music stores while picking up guitars at Rickenbacker Guitars and in Leo Fender’s first workshop in the late 1940s and early 50s.  Jim later became one of the first...
Jeff Hasselberger has played a very important role in the development of music makers! His ideas of conveying statistical material to music educators to assist in saving school programs led to the widely successful Einstein Kit. Jeff’s eye for detail and understanding of the music industry has also...
Jim Hennessey was working for Kaman Aerospace when he was transferred to the Ovation Guitar division. Jim worked closely with Charlie Kaman on several projects and later worked in the advertising department for Ovation. Jim expanded his duties to run the endorsement program and helped sign over 300...
Gabe Ireland joined the Coast Wholesale Company while in high school. After college he continued to work for the company as the rock and roll boom began and the entire industry began to change. He stayed with the company after it was purchased by Kaman Music and worked his way up the corporate...
Donald Johnson is known throughout the industry as DJ. He began working in music retail in 1958 in the San Jose, California, area before joining Coast Wholesale in 1961. It was an interesting and historic time to begin calling on retail stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. The folk music boom was...
Don (DJ) Johnson joined the Ovation Guitar Company in 1968, just about the time Glen Campbell was introducing the unique round-back instrument on national television. DJ worked for the founder, Charlie Kaman, as well as his son Bill for many years and even after the company went through many...
Bill Kaman served as president of Kaman Music Corporation, a company started by his father. Under Bill’s direction, Kaman Music expanded its product line, developed overseas markets, and acquired new companies to be managed under the corporation. In addition, he has also insisted on new and...
Bob King worked at Hal’s Music in Mountain View, California after returning from Vietnam in the early 1970s.  He was introduced to the wholesaling side of the industry and soon gained a job as a rep for Coast Wholesale.  He stayed with the company for over 20 years and was there when Kaman Music...
Kaki King first heard the Ovation Guitar being played by her father. It was one of his prized instruments and young Kaki was not allowed to play with it without him. He later gave that instrument to her, which she used in a few of her recordings and live performances as a professional musician. ...
Dale Kroke has been a passionate music maker since he was a kid.  He studied music in college and earned a teaching degree before pursuing an advance degree in composition.  His first job in the music industry was with Kaman Music in 1990, working with overseas distributors within the company's...

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