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Creation of Remo Inc.

Remo: “We developed the first successful Mylar head, and we were the first ones that had the ability, and the strategy for marketing it.  We accommodated or led the market in what they needed, every single step of the way.” In 1956, Drum City’s accountant, Sid Gerwin, introduced Roy and Remo to a chemist he knew, Sam Muchnick. Sam was interested when the plastic drumhead subject came up, and he and Remo began working on a new design for a drumhead. They spent quite an amount of time experimenting and testing. By early 1957 they had developed what proved to be the first successful plastic drumhead design. Remo states that Sam really was the one who had the basic ideas that worked. This process is still what is used today. A Mylar head, (with a shaped, crowned edge and little holes punched out around the perimeter), and a round, metal channel were matched and held together with a liquid adhesive. This was the first version of a Mylar drumhead that didn’t involve tacking the film to a flesh hoop. Remo and Sam Muchnick began their experiments, and by June 1, 1957, Remo, Inc. was created to market the aluminum channel drumheads. Sid Gerwin came up with the name. Remo has never claimed to have made the first synthetic head. Instead, Remo has claimed to have developed the Weather King head, the first successful plastic drum head. In May of 1957, Remo attended the Tri-State Music Festival in Enid, Oklahoma, where he showed the head to Bill Ludwig, among others. Bill said that his company had been trying to create a plastic head as well. Ultimately, Ludwig became one of Remo Inc.’s first OEM customers, with many more to follow, including Slingerland and even AMRAWCO! (the drummer-known calfskin drumhead company).

“The music world first became aware of the back workshop experiments by Remo in the summer of 1957, at the National Association of Music Manufacturer’s annual show in Chicago, when he prowled the hallways and rooms of the Palmer House Hotel while showing off his new plastic head, which he brashly described as the long sought substitute for calfskin heads. He returned to Los Angeles with orders for 10,000 of them, and Remo, Inc. was in business... Remo, in early 1958, developed a chemical coating (known widely as the Coated Ambassador) which not only made the products come closer to what everyone expected a drum head to look like, but also produced a better sound, superior either to animal or other synthetic heads. The sound was especially noticeable in the greater crispness when brushes were used. ”  (The Music Trades, February, 1982, “Remo At 25”, Paul A. Majeski). More orders for the Remo Weather King head begun to appear. Because of Remo and Roy Harte’s experience as drummers, their relationships with other drum manufacturers and drum shops, and Drum City’s being a “hub” for local and travelling players, it was not too difficult to gain exposure for the Weatherking. The head created its own momentum.

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Remo 11" Banjo Head, Clear BJ-1100-L3



Remo 11" Banjo Head, Fyberskin BJ-1100-M5



Remo Practice Pad 6" RT-0006-00



Remo Ambassador 14" Coated BA-0114-00



Remo 10-5/8" Banjo Head BJ1010-L5



Remo Practice Pad 8" RT-0008-00



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