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Bobby Rosengarden

1924 - 2007

Bob Rosengarden, Martin Cohen and Johnny Carson
circa 1963

On February 27, 2007 percussionist/drummer and bandleader Bobby Rosengarden died at the age of 82. Bobby was one of the most influential people in growing my percussion business, Latin Percussion. I sought him out in 1963 at the suggestion of Specs Powell since Rosendarden was doing so much of the percussion recording in studios around New York. It was a time when percussion was so popular in demonstrating the left and right channels of the newly introduced audio phenomenon, stereo. I told Bobby that I wanted to earn my living building percussion istruements and asked what I could do to make some money. He said build a jawbone of an ass that didn't break. A few weeks later I returned with my first invention, Vibra-Slap. He was so impressed with the device that he took me back stage at the Tonight Show and showed my Vibra- Slap and my bongos to Johnny Carson who seemed to be impressed. I told Bobby I needed to make some more money so he said build a cabasa that didn't break. That brought about my second invention, Cabasa/ Afuche. Bob was always a wonderful supporter of mine and offered council many times during my career.

In 1999 Rosengarden was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.


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