Bob Beals, former president of Evans Drumheads, has passed away. He died on August 7, 2010. The drumming industry lost a pivotal figure that day.
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Beals began his career as a tool engineer in the army during World War II. After the war, Bob started working as a watch repairman in Dodge City, Kansas.
Since there was no music shop in Dodge City, he was periodically asked to repair clarinet or saxophone keys. Eventually, he was repairing more musical instruments than watches and fell in love with the music business.
Sometime in 1956, Chick Evans walked into Bobís shop with a snare drum and sticks. He asked for a glass of water, proceeded to demonstrate his snare drum and then poured some water on the head. He then played the snare drum again, illustrating how the water had no effect on the tension or tone of the drumhead. He was demonstrating a sample of the first Evans drumhead, the first drumhead made with Dupontís Mylar (polyester) film instead of calf skin.
Bob was immediately blown away with the invention and forged an alliance with Chick.
Bob Beals purchased the company in 1959. After aquiring the companyís assets, Bob Beals began refining the design with such innovative concepts as the Hydraulic head.
In 1995, after more than 37 years of success, Bob Beals sold Evans to D\'Addario & Company, Inc., the world\'s largest musical string producer.
Bob Beals married his lifelong love, Shirley, had two children, Barbara Roberts and Janalee Beals (and son-in-law, Paul Skinner), and three grandchildren, Nathan Roberts, Rebecca Roberts, and Elizabeth Beals-Colson (and grandson-in-law, Stefan Colson). He is also survived by his brother, Harold Beals.
Bob Beals served as a Marshal of Dodge City, Kansas, and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by Modern Drummer magazine in 2001 for his outstanding contribution to percussion technology and history.