History: RBI Tradition
RBI's beginnings date back to 1961 when a Fort Worth Texas music shop owner and his entrepreneur son recognized the need for quality musical instruments, primarily percussion products, that could be used in the classroom by elementary music teachers. After meeting with music educators in the area, Woods and Tommy Moore developed a wishlist of items from potential customers, and Rhythm Band Incorporated was born. In that era, RBI manufactured many of the instruments inside their small shop on Throckmorton Street, and later at the much larger offices and warehouse located on E. Lancaster Avenue near downtown Fort Worth. Quality and value were the factors that set RBI apart and made their products a recognizable and sought-after brand. In 1967, Bob Bergin joined RBI and began calling on customers nationwide. Most importantly, Bob was learning what teachers needed and wanted from RBI, and in turn RBI has been meeting those needs for 60 plus years. Over a 40-year period, Bob and his wife Laura developed relationships with music educators and supervisors worldwide; further shaping RBI as a trusted global source for elementary music products. Woods, Tommy, Bob, and Laura truly had a vision for what RBI could ultimately become.
In 2008, longtime RBI manager Brad Kirkpatrick led a management buyout of the company that coincided with the retirement of Bob and Laura Bergin, as well as principal owner Flora Brewer. Brad began working in the musical instrument industry in 1985 and in 2003 he began his second stint with RBI. In 2015 Brad and business partner Jon Vanderploeg recapitalized the company, leading to a stronger and larger RBI. Adding percussion lines Toca, ATempo, and Grover Pro Percussion, as well as guitar lines Vintage, and Silvertone, effectively doubled the size of the company during a five-year period.
In 2019 RBI moved to a brand-new warehouse and office facility located in North Fort Worth, Texas, allowing faster, more efficient order fulfilment, and top-notch customer service.
Never forgetting our core principles, those developed back in 1961, we are committed to serving the needs of all our customers by constantly searching for new products and supplemental materials to ensure everyone can enjoy the benefits of making music.