Did You Know??
Fred Gretsch, Sr., his grandson & current owner Fred W. Gretsch, & his son Fred Gretsch, Jr.
Fred Gretsch, Sr. was only fifteen years old when he took over his father’s company.
It’s hard to imagine a fifteen year old wearing knickers and owning a growing music manufacturing company with twelve employees. But Fred Gretsch, Sr. wasn’t your typical teenager.
In 1895, Fred (who was called Fred, Sr.) was attending Wright’s Business College in New York when he received the shocking news that his father and founder of the Fred Gretsch Manufacturing Co., Friedrich (Fred) Gretsch, had died suddenly while visiting Germany with a brother. His father was only 39.
Under Fred, Sr.’s youthful leadership, enthusiasm, and keen business sense, Gretsch flourished to become one of the world’s largest and most respected manufacturers of musical instruments. From 1895 until his official retirement in 1942, Fred, Sr. guided Gretsch through one of the company’s most heralded, innovative eras. After turning over the company reins to his two sons, Bill and Fred, Jr., Fred, Sr. remained active in the banking industry until his death fifty years ago in 1952. Today, Fred, Sr.’s grandson, Fred W. Gretsch, continues the family legacy of making “That Great Gretsch Sound”.
Our current President, Fred W. Gretsch, started assembling drums very early in life.
Like his father, uncle, and grandfather before him, Fred W. Gretsch literally grew up in his family’s famous music manufacturing business.
In the early 1950’s, Fred’s grandfather, Fred, Sr., took the young lad down to their famous Brooklyn plant and taught Fred “the Gretsch way” of assembling drum parts. As Fred grew older, he continued to work in the drum factory after school and during summer vacations until he joined Gretsch full time as an industrial engineer in 1965.