In the banjo enthusiasts world, there has been a notable transition taking place that's worth noting. The iconic Ome Banjo Company, known for its craftsmanship and innovation in the banjo world, has been acquired by the Gold Tone Music Group. We are happy to hear the Ome Banjo tradition will live on but it is yet to be determined what this change will bring to its lineup and quality that Ome banjos are known for.
OME Banjos - A Rich Heritage
Ome Banjo Company, founded by Chuck Ogsbury in 1975, has been synonymous with quality and innovation in the banjo industry. Chuck is one of the true pioneers of modern banjo manufacturing. He founded the Ode banjo company in the early 1960s and after selling this company to the Baldwin Piano Company, decided to get back in the banjo making game and founded Ome. Read our full interview with Chuck Ogsbury here.
We have always been highly impressed with every Ome banjo that we have received in our shop and hope that this commitment to quality can continue.
We do have one more Ogsbury era Ome banjo in stock. This is an Ome Juniper 19-fret tenor banjo similar to the one Don Vappie plays. See this banjo here!
The Gold Tone Music Group
On the other side of this union is the Gold Tone Music Group, a prominent name in the world of musical instruments, and in particular, banjos, that was founded by Wayne and Robyn Rogers. The company is known for its commitment to crafting accessible instruments for musicians of all levels. Gold Tone is based out of Florida but manufactures their instruments in China with final assembly in their Florida location.
What Is The Future Of Ome Banjos
After talking with Gold Tone we do know that the plan is to continue making Ome banjos fully in the United States with the same quality that Ome has been known for. Check back here as we will update this post with any new information that we find out. Wayne and Robyn Rogers are terrific people and we hope that the quality and craftsmanship that Ome banjos were known for can be continued into the future.
A Letter From Chuck Ogsbury On The Sale To Gold Tone
A psychic once told me the shocking news that I've been building musical instruments for several lifetimes, even in Egypt. I don't remember any of that, but this lifetime I started designing and building banjos in Boulder, Colorado in 1960 and have continued at that profession ever since.
Recently, OME has been acquired by Gold Tone Music Group of Titusville, Florida. I have known Wayne and Robyn Rogers, the owners of Gold Tone, for many years and they are long term, dedicated music folks who have created a successful family music business and have a special interest in keeping the banjo alive and well.
The OME shop will be moved from Boulder to Titusville this November, and the OME banjos you have on order, will go with the OME business to Gold Tone.
My sincere thanks, from all of us here at OME, Tanya, Rich, Gustavo and myself, to all of you for being a quality OME dealer over all these years. OME simply would not be what it is without you. Going forward, I sincerely hope that you will find Gold Tone a good company to continue doing business with and for keeping OME Banjos alive and well.
A Letter From Wayne & Robyn Rogers Of Gold Tone On The Sale
When we opened our retail music business in 1977, Robin and I never dreamed that our little shop would one day evolve into the Gold Tone Music Group. Now, with the addition of The Ome Banjo Company to our roster of products, we can offer our dealers and customers a line of American-made banjos carrying a proud name and a nearly sixty-year heritage of excellence in craftsmanship.
When this acquisition was first announced, subscribers to the online banjo forums posted hundreds of comments. Most of these were positive and encouraging but some posters seemed unsure of whether a supplier of instruments made offshore could build banjos equal in quality to those built in Boulder.
At Gold Tone, our corps of luthiers tears down, inspects, rebuilds and sets up dozens of banjos every day. This accrued experience in the assembly and set-up of over a hundred-thousand banjos over the past thirty years has provided valuable hands-on experience for our staff. Because of the hard work of these hard-working technicians, we now design and offer professional-grade banjos such as the OB-3 “Twanger”, the OB-2 Bowtie, the Béla Fleck ML-1 Baritone banjo and the OB-Béla Bluegrass Heart model.
After hours of conversation with Chuck Ogsbury, we truly understood that his chief concern was that any interested buyer be committed to burnishing the legacy of Ome. He was determined to pass on his life’s work to a manufacturer capable of producing his unique banjo designs to his own high standard.
It’s important to note that all of Ome’s CNC files were included in the sale of Ome to GTMG. Along with these came thousands of Ome metal parts, well-aged wood blanks, unique custom tooling and even some completed instruments. We will also continue working with many of the suppliers that Chuck and Tanya have had relationships with for decades. Also, all active Ome warranties will be honored.
We have already secured a building for the Ome manufacturing operation, where assembly and some finishing work will be done. This facility is within walking distance of the original GT building, where the final inspection process and shipping will take place. The process of moving things from Boulder to Titusville and fitting out the manufacturing capabilities in the new plant will take some time. Our goal is to begin producing the Ome line once again in the second quarter of 2024.
We offer our deepest thanks to Chuck Ogsbury for giving us the honor of continuing the great work he began decades ago. We WILL make you proud.
Sincerely,Wayne and Robyn Rogers