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Kim Roberts Breedlove Biography

The Breedlove story is complex and highly passionate. Kim Breedlove, Jayson Bowerman and I have decided to share a few stories that answer the following question: How can we be celebrating Kim Breedlove’s 35th Anniversary, be celebrating Breedlove Guitar Company’s 18th year of business and feel like we’re just beginning?

Kim Roberts Breedlove and the Breedlove Historic Timeline:

1949 - Kim was born in Lafayette, Indiana.

1973 - Acquired tools and woods from guitar builder’s widow and built first instrument—dulcimer, followed by many banjos and dulcimers.

1976 - Began work in San Diego with Greg Deering and Geoff Stelling building banjos with younger brother Larry Breedlove, Tim Luranc and John Gerlog (now all with Taylor Guitars).

1978 - Kim earns Master of Fine Arts Degree from San Diego State University. Kim designs and develops the handmade Stelling Mandolins.

1982 - Larry Breedlove and Tim Luranc join Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug at Taylor Guitars.

1984 - Stelling Banjo Company moves from San Diego, California to Charlottesville, Virginia. Kim becomes Vice President of Stelling Banjos specializing in Bird of Prey series of exotic banjos with highly detailed and ornamented resonators and necks that were considered the “Rolls-Royce” of instruments.

1989 - Larry Breedlove and craftsman Steve Henderson depart from Taylor Guitars to start the Breedlove Guitar Company in 1990.

1990 - Breedlove becomes a repair center for Taylor Guitars and develops the Breedlove Guitar Line of six string and twelve string fingerstyle guitars while exploring techniques to open up the bass resonance and sustain of the acoustic guitars and basses.

1991 - Breedlove introduced to Don Kendall of JLD Guitar Research and begins experiments with the JLD bridge truss system and bracing techniques effects on balance, sustain, resonance and bass creating the "Original Breedlove Sound". Breedlove buys used/broken thickness sander and discovers the balancing effect of graduated top thicknesses on instrument balance. The "Original Breedlove" sound is formed. First Breedlove guitar in stores.

1994 - Kim retires as farrier and moves family west to join brother, Larry Breedlove, at Breedlove Guitar Company in Bend, Oregon to build high-end acoustic guitars. Soon after, Larry Breedlove departs to follow love interest and returns to Taylor Guitars. Breedlove wins second ASIA award for best new guitar design for the CM Classic.

1995 - Tonal experiments continue in body depths, sizes, soundhole diameters, bracing patterns, top graduations, back and side thicknesses. Prototypes of the Ed Gerhard signature model are completed featuring extremes of the experiments tuned to Ed’s particular needs and tastes. Dod Mohr joins team Breedlove and heads Breedlove string up team and warranty departments.  

1995 - Kim develops the first Breedlove mandolins featuring bolt-on necks with floating fingerboards and highly resonant tops and backs, and radiused fingerboards. Jayson Bowerman joins Breedlove through college school to work alliance.

1997 - First Breedlove mandolins in stores.

1998 - Steve Henderson develops innovative Breedlove nylon string guitars designed as steel string cross over instruments with slender necks 14 frets to body with radiused fingerboards.

2000 - 10th Anniversary Breedlove Guitar Company, Breedlove wins two Players Choice Awards from Acoustic Guitar Magazine including award for the Ed Gerhard Signature Model.

2004 - First Breedlove Revival Series Guitar by customer requests and executed by Jayson Bowerman, Third Player’s choice award from Acoustic Guitar Magazine.

2008 - Celebration of Kim Breedlove's 35th year of building fine instruments. Breedlove completes new building and focuses on the future. Breedlove launches expanded electric guitar line with the Mark II, and Mark IV and wins the Winter NAMM Show’s "Best in Show: Trendsetter Award" for the new (Mark II) electric guitars.

Artists who play Breedlove: Randy Scruggs, Jeff Tweedy

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