About Gretsch Guitars
The Gretsch Company's humble beginnings started in a small shop in Brooklyn, NY where German immigrant Friedrich Gretsch made and sold banjos, drums and tambourines. Despite his unexpected death which left the company in the hands of his 15-year-old son, an eventual sale to the Baldwin Company in the 60s, and factory fires that halted production, Freidrich's grandson, Fred Jr. was able to take back ownership of his family's company in 1985 and the brand is thriving as if they'd never skipped a beat. While tambourines are no longer a part of their lineup, Gretsch still produces high-quality banjos, as well as many other in-demand string instruments respected and desired by professionals the world over. Friedrich's "That Great Gretsch Sound" is still around, it's just moved to Savannah, GA.
The Gretsch Guitar company's original heyday was the mid-1950s when it introduced several of their better known models, the 6120 "Nashville", the Duo Jet chambered solidbody, the Country Club, and the White Falcon. Originally bolstered by the notoriety of fingerpicking great Chet Atkins, the company's popularity grew exponentially with the help of Duane Eddy, Eddie Cochran, and Elvis during the early years of rock and roll and rockabilly. Further exposure came through the television when the Beatles were introduced to America via The Ed Sullivan Show. George Harrison played a Gretsch Country Gentleman during the performance, and rabid Beatlemaniacs and inspired guitarists clamored at the opportunity to get that sound. The less serious, but almost as popular American Fab Four, The Monkees also showed off Gretsch-supplies instruments during their highly watched weekly episodes. When the company was attempting to make its comeback after the Baldwin and fire fiascos, it was helped by avid Gretsch fan Brian Setzer of The Stray Cats who was rockin' the town and strutting on MTV with vintage models he had actively searched for and found at used stores out of his love to recapture "That Great Gretsch Sound." These days he's been honored with several signature models, as has Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy), Tim Armstrong (The Transplants), Billy Duffy (The Cult), and Bo Diddley. Gretsch Guitars continues to produce accurate re-creations of many of the classic models. Check out their budget-friendly Electromatic series electric guitars and bass, or the Rancher line of flattop acoustic-electrics, which come in dreadnought, jumbo, and junior configurations to meet all your sound, and size needs.
Emphasizing hand-craftsmanship precision, and a commitment to quality, Gretsch produces many vintage looking and sounding gear that would make Friedrich extremely proud. The list of artists who've endorsed their guitars over the years include those mentioned above, as well as Bono, Lou Reed, Neil Young, Nick 13, Stephen Stills, Reverend Horton Heat, Pete Townshend, Billy F. Gibbons, Bo Diddley, Everlast, Bruno Mars, Benji Madden, Ed Roland, Martin Gore, Billy Zoom, and more. Now it's your turn to add your name to this eclectic group.