He left his company in good shape, and in good hands. His legacy continues.
After the Minimoog the company had a rather chequered history, a takeover, then several owners. (Bob Moog left in 1977). Finally closing down completely in 1993. Robert Moog started a new company, 'Big Briar' in 1978, getting back into production & eventually building a new Minimoog, called 'Voyager'. This has now expanded into several versions. In 2002 he got back the rights to the Moog Music name & renamed Big Briar as Moog Music.
Another new product is the 'Piano Bar', an infra-red non-contact reader for a standard 88 note piano keyboard. This adds MIDI to most pianos with no modification or fitting. Recently the company moved to larger premises.
developed a unique system for teaching piano playing & set up a chain of schools before the Second World War. At the outbreak of war he joined the Army Air Corps & devised a musical therapy for wouded airmen. For this he created a small, lightweight piano, with resonators made from aluminium aircraft parts.
After the war he set up the Rhodes Piano Corporation, to develop & sell portable pianos. This culminated in the famous Rhodes electric piano, using his patented asymmetric tuning fork design. This together with magnetic pickups created a completely new and enduringly popular sound.
Eventually this piano was equipped with stereo 'ping pong' tremelo. The still sought after Stereo Suitcase piano came about.
For a time Roland owned the company & trademark. A number of electronic instruments were produced with the Rhodes name. These, although good instruments in their own right, had a mixed reception amongst electric piano enthusiasts. Eventually Harold got back his company name. They did not get back into production.
A new Rhodes Music Corporation has now been formed. Nine new prototype MK7 models were exhibited & demonstrated at the 2007 NAMM show. Including a concert in tribute to Harold Rhodes. Production was planned to start in the autumn (fall) that year.
It was expected that the first production models would be on sale early in 2008.
According to the company's Web site, the action is based on that of the Mark V. Hopefully good news, it was considered the most completely 'sorted' production version of the original design. It just came out too late.
The more radical Mark IV had the potential to be even better. Only one was probably built, time & financial problems prevented its development. So the MK V was a simpler revamp of existing production models, needing less investment in time & money.
We wish the new Rhodes Music Corporation success in this venture. We include a link to the company's site on our main links page. In response to their concerns over copyright infringment, this is text only.
Another pioneer, Bo Diddley, passed away on Monday the 2nd of June 2008.
The Father of Rock & Roll, he influenced many musicians, spanning four generations.
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All opinions in this section are those of the author, Ron Lebar.
Information given is generally brief & is based on our experience. If you spot any factual mistakes or 'typos' please feel free to let us know. We are not quite perfect & promise not to sulk over constructive criticism.
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Pioneers, XHTML. Edited on the 17th of August 2009. © Ron Lebar, Author.
Michael Jackson, born in Gary Indiana in 1959, died in Los Angelos on the 25 of June 2009. He was arguably the most successful entertainer of modern times, despite the many media nobodies 'still' trying to pull him down.
He is sadly missed by his many fans, some mystery surrounds the circumstances of his death.
It is an unfortunate human failing, that all who achieve fame for doing something are derided or attacked by a certain type of person with no such accomplishments.