Bill Kaman sings to his stock


Bill Kaman
Bill Kaman

Charles William “Bill” Kaman II has been immersed in music and musical instruments his entire life. As a teenager he spent his school holidays on the production line of Ovation, the revolutionary fibreglass round back guitar designed in the mid-60s by his late father, helicopter pioneer Charles H Kaman. After graduating college with an economics degree Bill began his career in guitar production and design, first for the Applause and Ovation Matrix lines and later for the Ovation UK2, solid bodies, the Ovation Elite series, the Collector’s Series, as well as the top of the line Adamas guitars. Throughout the 70’s and 80’s the jobs and responsibilities continued to grow. By the late 70’s Charles had become more focused on other sections of the business mostly in Aerospace work and handed the reins of the fledgling Kaman Music Corporation to Bill.

Under his guidance, the team assembled at KMC, which now included six distribution companies, began the task of growing the business. From the early 80’s till the turn of the century the business increased four fold and the company grew into the USA’s largest distributor/manufacturer of music products. While Ovation, Adamas and Applause, and later Hamer and Trace Elliot Amplifiers were manufactured by Kaman, others were added to the growing stable of prominent national brands, such as Takamine, Jasmine, Ventura, Montana, Jim Dunlop products, Hohner and Lee Oscar harmonicas, Toca and Gibraltar percussion, D’Addario strings and related products, and many more, 14000 sku’s in total.

Bill Kaman performs at 290 West Club in South Austin, Texas

In 1998 an opportunity to become part owner and CEO of a Jacksonville Florida fuel services business, an FBO, presented itself. AirKaman, had been part of the parent corporation and was divested in 1997. The opportunity to run a business in Florida and leave the Connecticut winters behind was too good to pass up. Leaving Music in ’98 Bill moved to Florida and ran AirKaman till it was sold in 2002.

While Bill had always known how to play guitar, he had never really focused on it. That changed now with open mics and a weekly singer/songwriter contest at the Florida House B&B. He also played Davis and Pam Turner at O’Kanes pub three nights a week when possible. This continued till 2013 when he moved to Austin Texas where he began recording and performing which he continues to do today.

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