Archive for the ‘Music Industry News’ Category

Christmas 4 Kids Concert & Gretsch Guitar Auction

Monday, December 5th, 2011

From the Christmas 4 Kids Organizers:

Santa & Mrs. Claus and the Gretsches pictured with a Gretsch Country Gentleman guitar.

This year was the 10th Anniversary of the Charlie Daniels and Friends Concert benefiting Christmas 4 Kids (C4K).  The concert was held on Monday, November 21 at The Ryman Auditorium and was the 10th consecutive sellout event.  With so much to celebrate, the Gretsches sent another amazing guitar to be auctioned off.  This year’s guitar has previously been exhibited at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Macon, Georgia, as well as at the Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Airport in a Georgia Music Hall of Fame exhibit.  It has been photographed extensively and admired by musicians and the public alike.

The winning bid went to the Erickson family from Des Moines, Iowa.  They were on their way to spend Thanksgiving with their family and heard about the C4K concert on a Nashville event calendar.  Being avid country music fans, they decided to stop; however, the concert was sold out.  As they were discussing what to do, a gentleman overheard them and offered his tickets to the Ericksons.  Mr. Erickson offered to pay him, but the man said, “Go and enjoy – in the end, it’s all for the kids.”

Cole Erickson happily accepting his family's new Gretsch Guitar.

The Ericksons placed the first bid on the guitar and as the bidding was about to close, checked their status on the list and saw that someone had bid higher than they had.  So, at the last minute, they placed the winning bid.  Fred and Dinah Gretsch presented the Erickson’s son, Cole, with the prized guitar on the Ryman stage.  Clearly, an event this young man won’t forget.  Needless to say, the Ericksons have said that the Christmas 4 Kids concert is going to be a new annual Thanksgiving tradition for the family.

C4K wants to extend their deepest gratitude for the support that the Gretsch Foundation continues to show through their donation of guitars for the concert auctions.  Most importantly, Christmas 4 Kids appreciates Fred and Dinah Gretsch’s personal commitment to the children and their valued friendship.

For more information on Christmas 4 Kids, please visit their website.

For more information on the Gretsch Foundation, click here.

Spotlight: Catalina Club Limited Edition Drum Sets

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

From the Gretsch Drums website:

Gretsch Drums added three Limited Edition shell pack kits to the Catalina Club series. These kits feature original pearloid finishes and there are three unique configurations. A limited number of a matching 7×10 add-on toms are also available in each finish. These kits have been available since October 2011.

Catalina Club Funk Jazz CC-J684-WKP

The Catalina Club Funk Jazz (CC-J684-WKP) set in Whiskey Pearl includes a standard 18” diameter bass drum with a 16” depth. The 2” extra depth (standard jazz size is 14”x18”) projects a punchier and deeper tone with tight articulation. The Whiskey Pearl finish gives a distinctive vintage appearance. This kit is limited to 90 pieces North America.

Retail: $1075, sale price starting at $699.
Sizes: 16×18, 8×12, 14×14, 5×14 8 lug snare

Catalina Club Jazz 20” CC-J404-WKP

Drawing from classic configurations of the 1960’s, the Catalina Club Jazz 20” (CC-J404-WKP) includes a 14”x20” bass drum. This classic bass drum size delivers warm, punchy tones and provides flexibility that can be used in a wide variety of music settings. The 4.5”x14” snare provides a crisp attack that still retains the sensitivity needed for brush work. The Whiskey Pearl finish gives a distinctive vintage appearance. This kit is limited to 90 pieces North America.

Retail: $1075, sale price starting at $699.
Sizes: 14×20, 8×12, 14×14, 4.5×14 8 lug snare

Catalina Club Jazz CC-J484-WMG

The final addition to this limited run of kits is the Catalina Club Jazz (CC-J484-WMG) in White to Mint Green Pearl fade. The traditional “bop” sized drums perform well as a jazz kit, but it is also capable of performing in low volume situations where space is limited. The White to Mint green pearl fade gives a boutique look and vibe. There are 250 kits available worldwide.

Retail: $999, sale price starting at $649
Sizes: 14×18, 8×12, 14×14, 5×14 8 lug snare

For more information on these and other Gretsch drums, please visit the Gretsch Drums site.

Remembering the “Quiet Beatle”

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Remembering George Harrison

Ten years ago today, the world lost George Harrison–the Beatles’ “quiet” lead guitarist and spiritual explorer who added both rock ‘n’ roll flash and a touch of the mystic to the band’s timeless magic.

Harrison died on November 29, 2001 in Los Angeles following a battle with cancer.  “He left this world as he lived in it, conscious of God, fearless of death, and at peace, surrounded by family and friends,” the Harrison family said in a statement shortly after his passing. “He often said, ‘Everything else can wait but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another.’”

George accomplished much during his life.  He was a guitarist, singer-songwriter, actor, film producer, humanitarian, and avid gardener.  In the early 70s he grew “tired of people saying, ‘But what can I do?’” and organized hugely successful benefit concerts for Bangladesh.  George also had a keen sense of humor, as could be seen when he made a cameo appearance as the Interviewer in Eric Idle’s 1978 film, All You Need Is Cash, about a rock band called “The Rutles”.  According to George, the parody told the Beatles’ story “much better than the usual boring documentary.” Of course, at millennium’s end George–along with Paul and Ringo–took part in one of the biggest documentary projects ever with the Anthology film/disc/book series.

Among George’s other accomplishments was the formation of the successful group the Traveling Wilburys in 1988 with Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison.  In 2001, he also oversaw the reissue of his great solo work, All Things Must Pass, marking its 30th anniversary. The double-disc included a new version of the classic “My Sweet Lord”, which remains a masterpiece today.

Earlier this year, Gretsch proudly introduced a special limited-edition instrument—the Gretsch Custom Shop G6128T-GH George Harrison “Tribute” Duo Jet—in his honor.  Producing the replica of George’s prized Duo Jet, the guitar he often referred to as his first truly good guitar, was a labor of love for those involved.  With only 60 pieces produced, the guitar meticulously replicated the all-black 6128 Duo Jet George purchased in the summer of 1961 and used with the Beatles through the spring of 1963.  Every scratch, ding, and rust spot of George’s guitar can be found on the tribute model including a black Phillips head pivot bolt on the Bigsby® B6C tailpiece arm and the offset strap button on the lower bout relocated to accommodate the Bigsby.

George and his Duo Jet can be heard on many early Beatles’ recordings.  And although George used other guitars during his career including a Gretsch Country Gentleman and Tennessean, when it came to deciding on a guitar to be pictured with on the cover of his 1987 album Cloud Nine, George selected his beloved Duo Jet.

George earned an Academy Award with the Beatles in 1970 and received the first Billboard Century Award given out in 1992.  He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and also given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2009.  His impact on music and the world will not soon be forgotten.

Upon learning of George’s passing ten years ago, the Gretsch family had this to say:
We sadly mourn the tragic loss of our good friend and brother. Thanks for making our world a better place, George.  We love you.

Cover of the new LIFE magazine commemorative book about George Harrison. Credit: LIFE Magazine

Legendary Guitarist Paul Yandell Passes Away

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

From the GretschGuitars.com website:

Legendary guitarist Paul Yandell, known for his longtime rhythm role alongside Chet Atkins, passed away Monday morning in Hendersonville, Tenn., following a lengthy battle with cancer.

Yandell was Atkins’ right-hand man for over 25 years, but he has also played on records from Dolly Parton, George Straight, Perry Como, Steve Wariner, Mary Chapin Carpenter and the Everly Brothers.

The Kentucky native moved to Nashville in 1955 and began recording as a professional with the Louvin Brothers.

Following a stint in the Army, Yandell recorded primarily with Kitty Wells and Johnnie Wright, spent a year with George Hamilton IV, and then began an incredible run with Atkins in 1975 that lasted until Atkins’ death in 2001.

“Nobody was closer to [Atkins] than Paul,” Atkins’ daughter, Merle Atkins Russell, told The Tennessean.  “He was literally a lifelong friend, his right-hand man and a very dear friend off the stage.”

Yandell recorded five solo albums and most recently appeared on Wariner’s latest record, Guitar Laboratory, which was released earlier this year.

After Atkins’ death, Yandell became the prime source of information on Atkins’ techniques and equipment, even working with Gretsch to create guitars with Atkins’ favorite specs.

For a video of Yandell and Wariner performing at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society in 2010, visit GretschGuitars.com.

Merle Atkins Russell presents Certified Guitar Player award to Paul Yandell on August 13. (photo: Caryn Wariner)

Forgotten Hero: Paul Bigsby

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

A new article in the December issue of Premier Guitar magazine features Paul Bigsby. In this series of articles entitled “Forgotten Heroes”, light shall be shed on those legendary figures who have contributed great things to the world of music though their stories may not be widely known.  This article details contributions made by Paul Bigsby to the world of modern music by focusing in on some of his most enduring designs.  Included are details of how he modified the pedal steel guitar into the configuration we know today, used an aluminum case for the shielding of pickups, placed all 6 tuning machines on a single side to promote tuning stability, and, of course, designed the now-famous Bigsby True Vibrato.  The article also discusses the sometimes-strained relationship with Leo Fender and the similarities of a few design components found of most modern electric guitars.  A nicely crafted article to whet your appetite for more history of Paul Bigsby and how he contributed to the world of electric guitars. Available at your local newsstand and online here.  When finished with the article, you can pick up a hard copy of the entire book The Story of Paul Bigsby: Father of the Modern Electric Solid Body Guitar paired with a classy Bigsby T-shirt in time for the holiday season here.

Paul Bigsby

Gretsch Previews New Brooklyn Series at PASIC

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

At this year’s Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), Gretsch Drums provided a sneak peak of the new Gretsch Brooklyn Series drums.  Pictured below in Cream Oyster, this USA-made kit made a huge splash with show attendees.

The Brooklyn Series kits will officially launch in 2012.

New Gretsch Brooklyn Series at PASIC 2011

Stay tuned for more details to come.

Check out Drum! Magazine’s report and video here.

Spotlight: Gretsch Renegade & Energy Drums

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

New for 2011:  Two exciting new drum set packages designed for those just beginning their drumming adventures.

Gretsch Renegade

Gretsch Renegade
A complete drum set package designed specifically for the entry-level drummer and packed with value. Toms have “quick” sizes, which provide punchy tones and allow for lower positioning that benefits younger drummers. Hardware is double-braced and includes stylized Gretsch Renegade pedal boards and a comfortable drum throne. 13” hi-hats and 18” crash/ride brass cymbals are also included. All shells are 9-ply basswood with 45-degree bearing edges. Other features include ball-style tom holders, adjustable bass drum spurs and metal BD hoops with matching inlay.

Gretsch Energy

Gretsch Energy
A drum set package that comes complete with hardware and Sabian SBR cymbals. The toms feature “quick” sizes, which provide punchy tones and allow for lower positioning to benefit younger drummers. Hardware is double braced and includes stylized Gretsch Energy pedal boards. The 30 degree bearing edges, 5 Lug configuration and Gretsch style lug draw from the rich Gretsch lineage. The Gretsch Energy series is perfect for the first time buyer and packed with features that are found on semi-pro drum sets, including non-drilled bass drum.

Get complete specs at GretschDrums.com.

Bigsby & Gretsch Exhibit at Annual USPTO Trademark Expo

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Costumed Characters at Opening Ceremony

On October 14 and 15, 2011 the Bigsby Division of the Gretsch Company was honored to exhibit at the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) National Trademark Expo held at their headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia for a second time.

The annual event, with the goal of educating the public about the value of trademarks in the global marketplace, highlighted such themes as “non-traditional trademarks” and “brand evolution” and featured educational seminars and workshops suited for both adults and children. In addition, exhibits of authentic and counterfeit goods, children’s story time, and the always-popular costumed trademarked characters helped draw attention to the different types of trademarks and the importance of protecting trademark rights. Open to the general public, the Expo also drew enthusiastic groups of children from area schools and club groups who enjoyed the various exhibitor booths which were designed to be both educational and entertaining. This year’s Expo was the USPTO’s biggest to date with over 16,000 visitors attending over the two days.

Enrique Romero with Chubby Checker at the USPTO Expo Bigsby Booth

The opening ceremony on Friday featured special remarks, a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and music by the US Air Force’s rock band Max Impact. A guest appearance by the legendary Chubby Checker and some new trademarked costumed characters including The Pink Panther and The Very Hungry Catepillar also helped kick off the event. A specially-arranged musical performance took place at the Bigsby and Gretsch booth both days. A young, local guitarist named Enrique Romero helped entertain Expo-goers as they made their rounds through the exhibition. On Friday Enrique was paid a special visit by Chubby Checker who listened attentively while he played and then offered his encouragement. Enrique’s performances became so popular that he played more frequently than originally scheduled—performing every hour during the afternoon on Saturday. The costumed trademarked characters joined in the fun and danced along during many of Enrique’s performances to onlookers’ delight.

Enrique Romero Performing at Expo

Another Expo highlight was when Deborah Cohn, the Commissioner for Trademarks, made a special point of introducing herself to all exhibitors and personally providing each with a copy of a Congressional Record honoring the Expo and exhibitors selected to participate in 2011. Bigsby was one of only 27 companies selected to exhibit this year. The distinctive trademarked shape of Bigsby’s famous vibrato tailpieces was in good company with other internationally-familiar trademarks belonging to other such notable exhibitors as Mattel Inc., Segway Inc., the U.S. Department of the Army, Bridgestone Corporation, Caterpillar Inc, Geico, and The Hershey Company.

Bigsby was able to demonstrate the practical use of trademarks and patents as applied to something as fun and universal as making music. Many in attendance were surprised to learn how much the Bigsby inventions have impacted popular music as created by artists like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. In fact, Gretsch guitars have featured Bigsby vibrato tailpieces for more than fifty years. This year’s Bigsby/Gretsch display demonstrated the importance of Bigsby trademarks and the impact they have as source identifiers in the marketplace. Like most effective trademarks, the very shape of Bigsby tailpieces identifies them—even at a distance, when the brand name cannot be read. This allows Bigsby-equipped guitars to be recognized on concert stages and video broadcasts around the world. The inherent distinctiveness of the Bigsby tailpiece design has aided the Gretsch Company in getting the protectable portions registered. This, in turn, has helped Gretsch to pursue its campaign (as part of the Electric Guitar Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition) to stem the proliferation of counterfeit instruments wherever they are manufactured.

For more information on the USPTO, go to www.uspto.gov

For more information on Bigsby products and the Gretsch/Bigsby connection, go to the Bigsby site.

Videos from the Expo can be viewed at Bigsby’s YouTube page.