Archive for the ‘Gretsch News’ Category

Gretsch Celebrates Downbeat’s History . . . And Its Own

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

In a nifty message-within-a-message concept, the Gretsch Company recently took out a two-page spread in Downbeat magazine’s July issue to congratulate the publication on its 75th anniversary. A personal note from company president Fred W. Gretsch touts Downbeat’s importance as the chronicler of music history. This note mirrors a similar one offered in 1954 by then-president Fred Gretsch Jr. on the occasion of the magazine’s twentieth anniversary.

Fred W. Gretsch’s new message goes on to point out the long-standing connection between Gretsch and Downbeat, and how so much of the history that the magazine has covered involved Gretsch artists. These points are underscored by a decade-by-decade display of Gretsch ads that ran in Downbeat from the 1950s through the 2000s. The ads feature such legendary artists as drummers Tony Williams, Elvin Jones and Philly Joe Jones, as well as guitarists Chet Atkins, Freddie Green and Roy Clarke.

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Gretsch Institute MUSIC, ART & DANCE CAMP 2009 Provides Children an Opportunity to Explore the Arts Like Never Before

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

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Today’s economic climate has resulted in a dramatic decrease in educational funding in general, and arts funding in particular. Yet exposure to the arts has been proven to be a critical element in the intellectual and emotional development of young children. Accordingly, Fred and Dinah Gretsch are taking steps to ensure that the children of Savannah have an unprecedented opportunity to experience and participate in the creative arts.

Thanks to generous support from the Gretsch Music Company, the 2009 Gretsch Institute Music, Art & Dance Camp will be held on the campus of the Savannah Country Day School from June 8 through July 3. Launched in the summer of 2008, this unique camp offers rising 2nd through 8th graders an opportunity to expand their creativity and their artistic skills through an inspiring multi-dimensional arts curriculum. Small-group settings pair students with talented artists, musicians, and instructors during four one-week sessions of full or half-day camp. (more…)

Gretsch To Display Century Award Badge

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

The Gretsch Company is now proudly displaying the official Cox Century Award insignia badge on all company communications. The Savannah-based manufacturer of drums and guitars was presented with the award as part of the Georgia Family Business of the Year Award program.

The Cox Century Award recognizes companies that are one hundred years old or more. The Gretsch Company was chosen because of its 125-year history as a family-owned operation, its importance within the worldwide music industry, and its contributions to the Georgia business community. (more…)

Bigsby Exhibits at United States Patent & Trademark Expo

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

The Bigsby Division of the Gretsch Company was honored to participate at the 2009 Trademark Expo presented by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The event was held at USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia on May 8th and 9th. The goal of the annual Expo is to educate the public about the important role that trademarks and patents play in our society and global marketplace.

Over 7,000 visitors were said to have attended the two-day Expo that featured seminars on the basics of trademarks, what every small business should know about intellectual property, and counterfeiting and piracy. The event opened with loud applause as a cast of iconic trademark costumed characters including Betty Boop, Popeye, Olive Oyl and The Cat in the Hat were introduced. The Air Force Band’s Ceremonial Brass Quintet played classic American anthems. Congressman Jim Moran spoke and presented a plaque to USPTO officials containing remarks he introduced into the Congressional Record hailing the National Trademark Expo. He then joined Acting USPTO Director, John Doll and Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Operations, Debbie Cohn to cut the opening ribbon along with the help of Dennis the Menace and Curious George! (more…)

Bigsby And Gretsch To Exhibit At USPTO Trademark Expo

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

The Bigsby Division of the Gretsch Company will be exhibiting at the 2009 Trademark Expo presented by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on May 8 and 9. The event will be held at USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. The goal of the Expo is to educate the public about the important role that trademarks play in our society and in the global marketplace.

One hundred companies applied to exhibit at the expo. The Bigsby Division of Gretsch was one of sixteen to be selected, in recognition of its distinctive tremolo tailpieces for guitars. The unique trademarked shape of Bigsby tailpieces will be in company at the Expo with internationally familiar trademarks belonging to Travelers insurance, Hershey chocolate products, UPS, and Bridgestone tires.

Gretsch guitars have featured Bigsby vibrato tailpieces for more than forty-five years. So when Bigsby owner Ted McCarty wished to retire in 1999, it was a natural progression to make Bigsby a part of the Gretsch Guitar Company. Says company owner Fred Gretsch, “Gretsch and Bigsby are often thought of together. Now we’re one company.” (more…)

Gretsch 125th Anniversary Year Wrap-Up

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

The year 2008 marked a milestone for the Gretsch family as they celebrated 125 years as a manufacturer of the world’s finest drums and guitars. In order to make that celebration as meaningful as possible, the family decided to share it with Gretsch customers, fans, and artists around the world.

As a result, Gretsch’s 125th Anniversary year was chock full of events and activities. These included meet-and-greets with Fred and Dinah Gretsch in music stores across the country, a highly successful Next Gretsch Greats Unsigned Artist Competition, recognition and awards for the Gretsch family, and clinics and special appearances by Gretsch artists all over the world. And it all culminated in a phenomenal anniversary concert and party in New York City. No doubt about it: It was a year to remember. (more…)

Gretsch Supports Jazz History In Elmhurst

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

ElmhurstJazzExhibit-280The name “Gretsch” is virtually inseparable from the word “jazz.” So it’s not surprising that Fred Gretsch should lend his support to an exhibit that celebrates jazz history.

The exhibit in question is taking place from February 24 through May 24 at the Elmhurst Historical Museum in the Chicago suburb of Elmhurst, Illinois. Dubbed Elmhurst Jazz: A Celebration of an American Art Form in Elmhurst, the exhibit explores the history of jazz and jazz education through the perspectives of two local institutions: DownBeat magazine and the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival. Highlights include a visual timeline of notable jazz legends, the significance of the Chicago jazz scene in jazz history (including artists like Gene Krupa, Benny Goodman, and Louis Armstrong), and displays of rare photos and artifacts.

Fred Gretsch is in a unique position to be a supporter of this exhibit. To begin with, he’s an alumnus of Elmhurst College. The nationally recognized liberal arts school includes a prestigious jazz program within its music department. And the aforementioned Elmhurst College Jazz Festival is the second oldest continuously running event of its kind in the nation. (more…)

Gretsch Salutes Louie Bellson and Gretsch Drums, “Partners in Innovation”

Friday, May 8th, 2009

By Fred Gretsch, 4th Generation Drum Maker

Louie Bellson’s career was remarkable for many reasons. In musical terms, few, if any drummers, could match his achievements. He began playing with Ted Fio Rito, and he replaced Gene Krupa in Benny Goodman’s band by the time he was seventeen years old. He performed and recorded with such jazz legends as Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Woody Herman, Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, as well as with great vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald, Pearl Bailey, Mel Torme’, Sammy Davis Jr., Sarah Vaughan, and Tony Bennett. Louie also led his own successful big bands and small groups for more than forty years.

In addition, Louie established himself as a gifted composer. He wrote and arranged more than a thousand tunes, including the drum-feature classic “Skin Deep,” which he made famous with the Ellington orchestra.

Louie was also a legendary clinician and educator. The eternal student himself, he was always eager to share his knowledge and his skills with young drummers. (more…)