In July 2009 Rhythm Band Instruments LLC (RBI) acquired the assets of Whacky Music, Inc., including the Boomwhackers musical tubes patents, trademarks and related intellectual property from Craig Ramsell, inventor of the famous musical tubes. As a result, RBI is now the sole worldwide supplier of the former products of Whacky Music, Inc., and has moved Whacky Music’s production operations to RBI’s facility in Ft. Worth, Texas. Following the acquisition, RBI kept Whacky Music’s international and domestic distribution channels in place, with limited exception, and continues to support the Whacky Music branding for the product line put in place by Mr. Ramsell.
Craig grew up in Iowa in a time when learning music in school was commonplace. His first "serious" instrument was the cornet, and he switched to French horn in junior high. As a young teen, he learned to play rhythm guitar and did the local-yokel rock band thing, also picking up the keyboard on a self-taught basis (but never getting very skilled with it!). When he entered high school, the school insisted that he play French horn in the marching band if he was going to play in the orchestra. He protested that it was hard enough to play the French horn sitting still, let alone marching on the field, and refused to play in the marching band. Since the horn belonged to the school and they insisted that he play in the marching band or not play at all, that was the end of Craig and the French horn.
Craig went to college at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received his B.S. (Bachelor of Science) in Management degree in 1973 and M.S. (Master of Science) in Management degree in 1974, and found very little time to be involved with any musical instrument. Most of his professional career has been involved in various aspects of finance. Prior to the fateful day that he had the idea for what has become the Boomwhackers tubes, he spent many years, and became quite good at, pricing and structuring complex, "cross-border", tax-advantaged equipment financings for Boeing 747s and other "big ticket" equipment with companies that specialized in advising on such transactions.
Back on the music side, after graduating from M.I.T. Craig picked up the guitar again and began to learn fingerpicking for the first time. Shortly thereafter, he heard Francisco Tarrega's Recuerdos de la Alhambra and was inspired to learn classical guitar. This was a study that he pursued in earnest, practicing many hours a week for many years. During this time, he also took some music theory and composition classes. The classical guitar has been his primary musical passion as an adult. However, after inventing the tubes, Craig delved deeply into the world of percussion for several years, during which time he hardly touched a guitar but became quite capable on an array of percussion instruments. He's now back on friendly terms with his guitar and still sneaks in a little percussion playing now and then.
About the Tubes
Our Boomwhackers Tuned Percussion Tubes are wonderful and unique instruments that have already brought the joy of music to hundreds of thousands people. (Yes, we're counting kids as people.) We sell our products primarily at the dealer and distributor level. While the majority of our sales are in the U.S., we also sell to Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China (Hong Kong), Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, and Switzerland. Some of our distributors also sell into other countries such as Austria and the Netherlands.
About Rhythm Band Instruments:
For 50 years RBI has been providing quality products for music education and enjoyment in early childhood and elementary schools. We believe that music is an important part of your child's development and studies show that the best academic students are those that participate in music and arts programs. Whether you are a music educator, a church music director, or simply a parent that wants to introduce your child to the wonders of making music we have what you need.