Vintage Pianos & Synths (1965 - 1984)
The Rhodes Piano enjoyed nearly 20 years of success as a professional keyboard, constantly being improved and redesigned by Harold Rhodes and his engineering team. What began as a tool for teaching music evolved into the keyboard of choice for jazz and R&B players in the 1970's.
Harold Rhodes spent nearly two decades designing keyboards for educational use before inventing the Rhodes piano as we know it today.
The self-amplified Fender Rhodes Electric Piano first appeared with its silver harp cover in 1965.
As the Fender Rhodes began to grow in popularity with recording artists, so did the product line.
The Fender name was dropped for marketing purposes, finally giving Harold Rhodes the full credit he deserved.
In an attempt to boost declining sales, the Mark II family of pianos was introduced as the 1970's were coming to an end, featuring a new all-black design with a flat-top harp cover.
The strange and twisted story of the "Rhodes" keyboards that had no tines, hammers or tonebars...
The missing link in the history of the Stage Piano's development, the Mark IV was a radical prototype that never made it to the masses.
Considered at the time to be the ultimate Rhodes, the Mark V was the last new model to be released before the Rhodes factory ceased production.
Classroom instruction systems evolved in the 1960's and 70's, combining Harold's piano technology with his music education philosophy.
Various amps were specifically designed for use with the Stage Piano, but in reality it was a Fender guitar amp that Rhodes players preferred.
After purchasing the Rhodes trademark from CBS in 1987, Roland developed a line of digital "Rhodes" keyboards that didn't exactly sound like the real thing.