Archive for the ‘Music Industry News’ Category

Joe Robinson Scheduled to Perform

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Mrs. G’s Music Foundation proudly presents . . .

JOE ROBINSON
“AUSTRALIA’S GOT TALENT” 2008 WINNER

Performing at the Thomas Heyward Academy
Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 12:15 p.m.
1727 Malphrus Road, Ridgeland, SC 29936

Music lovers who are planning to be in the area are invited to attend.

Standing Room Only!

Mrs. G’s Music Foundation was established by Dinah Gretsch with the goal of enriching children’s lives through music.  Stay tuned for more information about this great new program and about a recent clinic held by Mark Schulman.

ABOUT JOE ROBINSON:
“HAVING QUICKLY ENTRENCHED HIMSELF AS AUSTRALIA’S NEWEST MUSIC PHENOMENON – JOE ROBINSON IS TRULY A VIRTUOSO MUSICIAN.  HIS JAW DROPPING INSTRUMENTAL STYLINGS HAVE GARNERED THE ATTENTION OF MANY GUITAR MASTERS, INCLUDING LES PAUL, STEVE VAI, BRAD PAISLEY, TOMMY EMMANUEL, BRENT MASON, LEE RITENOUR, STEVE CROPPER AND DWEEZIL ZAPPA.  AT A YOUNG AGE JOE HAS PLAYED HEADLINE SHOWS IN MAJOR CENTERS ALL OVER THE GLOBE – INCLUDING LONDON, NEW YORK, HELSINKI, BUDAPEST, SYDNEY, BERLIN, MILAN, VIENNA, BANGKOK, ROME AND AMSTERDAM.  AS AN AWARD WINNING AND PROLIFIC SONGWRITER/COMPOSER, FEARLESS AND ENERGETIC PERFORMER AND HUMBLE, LIKEABLE INDIVIDUAL – ROBINSON SEEMS DESTINED FOR GREATNESS.”

Noteworthy Art Now in Savannah

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

As part of the 21st Annual Savannah Folk Music Festival scheduled from October 8 to 10 in Savannah, Georgia, a special collection of guitars painted by Savannah artists will be on exhibit at the Visitors Center on Ellis Square.  The Noteworthy Art display will run through October 8, daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.  Exhibited items, including a guitar painted by well-known singer/songwriter Joni Bishop, will be auctioned at two Festival events:  Folkfest on Friday, October 8 in Ellis Square, and a Concert in Grayson Stadium on Sunday, October 10.  Funds raised by these auctions will benefit the upcoming Festival and will help ensure that the annual event continues as a free and open-to-the-public program of the Savannah Folk Music Society.

Savannah artists participating this year include Kathy Miller, Barbara Gentry, Grace Rohland, John Mitchell, Albert Seidl, Bobby Bagley, Ila Scholla, Sue Nichols, Emma Knight, Laura Cody, Alaine Daniel and Tal Willis.  In addition, guitars signed by Jackson Browne, Patty Larkin, Jonathon Edwards, Karla Bonoff, and others will be auctioned at both the Folkfest event on October 8 and the Concert on October 10.

In other fundraising efforts, three artist-signed Gretsch instruments were recently auctioned on eBay. The first, a Gretsch “Chicago” 5-string banjo signed by folk music icon Pete Seeger, and the other two Gretsch Historic Series G3203 acoustic-electric guitars, the first signed by Doc Watson and the second by Ritchie Havens.  These and several of the other signed instruments were donated by the Gretsch Foundation, the charitable arm of the Gretsch family.

For further information, contact Hank Weisman at 912-786-6953 or visit www.savannahfolk.org.

KMC Announces “The Gretsch Drums Woodshed is Open”

Monday, September 20th, 2010

From the 9/8/10 edition of KMC Music’s eNewsletter:

Gretsch Drums has recently established a new integrated social media site called The Gretsch Drums Woodshed. Why the term “woodshed?” Woodshed is a widely accepted term used by drummers to refer to their personal drum practice space.

The woodshed is a place for any drummer and/or music fan to connect and exchange ideas, videos, images, etc. The layout is built upon contemporary social sites, so navigation is very intuitive and easy to use. Within the Woodshed is a forum that will function very much the same as other drum forums. It’s a great place to hear firsthand from drummers who play Gretsch and what makes their relationship with their instrument so special. Gretsch Drums invites all drummers to connect in the “Shed” and share their drumming experiences.

Check it out here!

Mark Schulman Visits Musician’s Warehouse in Athens, GA

Monday, September 20th, 2010

By special correspondent and 6th Generation Gretsch Family member, Will Gretsch

On Monday, September 13, Mark Schulman displayed his jaw-dropping drumming to the people of Athens, GA at the Musician’s Warehouse. Jamming on a new Gretsch Renown Maple Series kit, he inspired the audience to play drums with not only passion but with the right “attitude”.

Left to Right: 6th & 5th generation Gretsch family members Will Gretsch and Fred Gretsch Jr. with Mark Schulman and Ed Magruder (owner of Musician's Warehouse) and Don Waylett (KMC Music District Sales Manager).

Mark’s clinic featured a state of the art audio visual presentation with him playing along to a series of tracks accompanied by exciting video montages.  His performances across a wide variety of musical styles demonstrated his comprehensive knowledge of music from many different cultures.

Mark explained how he developed his “attitude” at a young age, playing cello in front of his entire school. One moment in particular made him realize the power of being able to play an instrument. After performing in front of the whole school, he explained how he was dreading going back into the classroom for fear of the ridicule and scorn his classmates would surely bestow upon him. Hands shaking, Mark grasped the knob and opened the door awaiting his embarrassment. Instead, to his surprise, he received a standing ovation from his classmates for his outstanding performance. This experience would shape Mark’s attitude forever.

Mark also explained how his love for drumming came from one of the most famous moments in music history.  Replaying footage of the legendary 1964 appearance by The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show, Mark told of how he instantly fell in love with drums and drumming. The fans screaming, Ringo’s head shaking, girls crying; the young Mark Schulman knew that playing the drums was what he wanted to do. It inspired him to pick up a pair of sticks and get his first kit, a cheap Sears Catalogue drum set.

Mark continued to impress upon the audience the importance of having a positive attitude and it was evident whenever Mark was in the room, because he brings it with him in everything he does.  Judging by the expressions on the audiences’ faces, Mark’s clinic was a huge success.

The event was also a special occasion because it gave me and my Father, 5th generation Gretsch family member Fred Gretsch Jr., the opportunity to meet a great friend and ambassador of The Gretsch Company.  It was also wonderful to be able to hear just how great the instruments which have been my family’s legacy for over 125 years sound in the hands of such a wonderful musician.  Finally, Mark signed autographs for everyone who attended and offered one very important final piece of advice saying, “Play what you love; for me, I love Gretsch!”

Fred & Dinah Attend Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Concert

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

On August 11, Fred and Dinah Gretsch, along with 18,000 highly-energized and eager fans, had the chance to attend the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers concert in Atlanta’s Phillips Arena.  With the equally legendary group–Crosby, Stills, & Nash–opening the show, it was guaranteed to be a night not soon forgotten.

Before the show Fred and Dinah had the opportunity to spend some time backstage visiting with members of both bands.  The Atlanta show followed a week-long break and Tom and the rest of the Heartbreakers seemed to be in good spirits as they prepared to kick off the third leg of their Mojo summer tour.

Mike Campbell on Stage

The Gretsches learned that Mike Campbell, the Heartbreakers’ lead guitarist and one of its original founding members, recently purchased a ‘56 Gretsch Nashville of which he’s reportedly very proud.  They were also delighted with the opportunity to visit with the Heartbreakers’ drummer, family friend, and Gretsch drum endorser, Steve Ferrone.

Fred with Steve Ferrone

This show was the first of several that rock legends CSN will be opening on the Mojo tour.  Gracious as always, Stephen, Graham, and David spent time catching up with the Gretsches and chatting about some of their instruments including, of course, their various Gretsch guitars.

After delivering their best wishes to all, it was on to the show.  Following an amazing 90-minute set by CSN, Tom and the Heartbreakers did not disappoint. “Tom Petty has reached the youth market again,” commented Dinah after seeing the large number of young fans in attendance. Thirty-four years and counting and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are still selling out shows.  With their earlier hits becoming popular with today’s youth, it appears their music will be transcending generations of music lovers for a long time to come.

Two legendary groups; one amazing evening of music.  It can’t get much better than that!

In Concert

Our Special Friend Fritzi Kramer, 1919-2010

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Frieda “Fritzi” Kramer was the beloved wife of Duke Kramer for over 60 years. Duke’s career and involvement with the Gretsch Company spanned an amazing 70 years and for several years prior to his passing, he and Fritzi together owned and operated D & F Products, a supplier of vintage Gretsch guitar parts. Fritzi passed away in April 2010, five years after losing Duke.

Fritzi Kramer

Fritzi herself had been in the music business since 1940. Many in the music industry knew Fritzi as she and Duke were participants at many past NAMM shows and vintage guitar shows. She is fondly remembered by many, being described as a kind and caring person who had a friendly word and smile to share with everyone.

Fritzi was born in Downers Grove, IL on February 11, 1919. She and Duke had 3 children, 4 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews. The Kramers lived in Naperville, IL from 1949 to 1971 and then moved to Cincinnati and resided there until 2009. A lover of golf and bridge, Fritzi was active in the school system and volunteered at the Naperville and Cincinnati Hospitals. She and Duke enjoyed traveling to trade shows and were members of the Coldstream Country Club.

Fritzi claimed that her greatest accomplishment was the unconditional love she gave to her family and friends. Once when asked who she would come back as if she could come back as anyone she wanted, she replied herself.

Fritzi and Duke spent a long and happy life together sharing their love of the music business. We truly miss these cherished friends of the Gretsch family.

Remembering Duke Kramer

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Charles Kramer went by many nicknames, “Duke”, “The Silver Fox”, even “Mr. Guitar Man.” You could also call him “The Thread.” Duke Kramer was the thread, the constant connection that bridged eight decades of Gretsch musical history. Sadly, the World’s Gretsch Goodwill Ambassador for 70 years passed away five years ago last month.

Duke Kramer

In 1935, Bill Gretsch was managing the company’s Chicago Distribution office when he met a 19-year-old sax player who played the local clubs. Bill saw something special in the teenager and offered him a job polishing horns for $11 a week. Duke accepted the job and really never left the company. His career and involvement with Gretsch spanned an amazing 70 years.

At Gretsch, Duke practically did it all and saw it all.  His duties over the years included being a purchasing agent, salesman, bookkeeper, general manager, plant manager, inventor, mentor, and trusted advisor to four of the five Gretsch presidents. Duke was also involved in the birth of “The Great Gretsch Sound” after World War II when the company decided to focus only on manufacturing high quality guitars and drums under the Gretsch brand. Duke witnessed and participated in many historical milestone events. He worked with Jimmie Webster and Chet Atkins to forever change the look and sound of guitars. He was instrumental in getting Gretsch drums into the hands of the best musicians in jazz and popular music.

In the fast-changing world of the music industry, Duke was a survivor. He was one of a handful of faithful Gretsch employees who survived the Baldwin acquisition in the late 1960s. He ran the Cincinnati office of the Gretsch Division until his retirement in 1980. When Baldwin was in bankruptcy in the early 80s, Duke was again brought in to run the Gretsch business and was key to arranging the sale back to the Gretsch family. Negotiations were successful and current president Fred W. Gretsch returned the company back to his family in January 1985. But Duke’s involvement didn’t stop there. He played a critical role in bringing Gretsch guitars back into production. Fifty years after he was hired by Fred’s father, Bill Gretsch, Duke Kramer was again on the road talking to musicians and instrument dealers assuring them that the “Great Gretsch Sound” would soon return.

Current president, Fred W. Gretsch, remembers Duke Kramer fondly stating “When I transferred to Chicago in 1969 to work in the Gretsch’s Elmhurst Illinois office, Duke was my boss. He was a great teacher, very hands on, a wonderful mentor.” Duke was a lifetime member of the Guitars & Accessories Manufacturing Association (GAMA) and was also heavily involved in the Music Distributors Association. Duke and his beloved wife, Fritzi, who passed away in April of this year, were married an amazing 62 years and had three children.

The Gretsch family owes a huge debt of gratitude to this tireless, dedicated, loyal friend who contributed so much to the company–and to the music industry as a whole. Duke’s keen insight, deep love of music, warm smile, and zest for living are sorely missed.

Sugarland Signed Gretsch Guitar Auctioned

Monday, July 5th, 2010

A Gretsch 6120 Nashville model guitar autographed by Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush–better known as Atlanta-based country music super-duo Sugarland–was auctioned on eBay between June 23 and June 30. The winning bid of $1,625 will go to support educational music programs sponsored by AthFest, Athens, Georgia’s long-running music festival.

Sugarland Signs Gretsch Nashville

The guitar was donated to AthFest by The Gretsch Foundation, an organization chartered by Savannah’s Fred and Dinah Gretsch to help promote music and arts education programs. Says Fred Gretsch, “When folks who understand the value of music as a way to enrich people’s lives work together, amazing things can be accomplished.”

The Gretsch Foundation donates Gretsch guitars to programs like AthFest AfterSchool, AthFest InSchool, and Keys For Kids. The guitars are decorated by major artists and/or signed by prominent musicians, and then auctioned off on eBay to raise funds. Over the past two years The Foundation has donated guitars signed by the members of R.E.M., Widespread Panic, and The Drive By Truckers.

Gretsch’s 6120 Nashville model guitar was first built in 1954 in collaboration with Chet Atkins. It’s been offered in many deluxe versions over the succeeding years.

For more information on Gretsch guitars, go to www.gretschguitars.com. More information on AthFest is available at www.athfest.com.