Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player Exhibition

October 11th, 2011

The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is paying tribute to one of country music’s most versatile and visionary artists, Chet Atkins, with Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player, a biographical exhibit which opened August 12, 2011 and runs through July 15, 2012 in the Museum’s East Gallery.

Get exhibition details and see exclusive online content here. Educational materials for children, families, and teachers recently added!

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Schedule of Upcoming Special Programs: (All times are Central and subject to change)

*Sunday, July 15, 1:00 p.m., CDT, Fingerstyle Guitar Demonstration: Brooks Robertson

Oregon-based Brooks Robertson is a composer and arranger in the style of Merle Travis, Jerry Reed, Thom Bresh, and his own mentor, Buster B. Jones. In 2004, Robertson won first place in Prairie Home Companion’s Talent from Twelve to Twenty Contest.

*Sunday, July 15, 2:00 p.m., CDT, Film Screening: Austin City Limits: “Chet Atkins and Friends” (1987)

In this episode of the long-running public television series, Atkins demonstrates his trademark guitar style as well his love of collaboration. His guests include Thom Bresh, Larry Carlton, Johnny Gimble, Peter Ostroushko, Butch Thompson, and the Prairie Home Companion Band. Free.

Past Program Videos/Photos:

Photos from the October 1 concert in salute of Chet by Joe Robinson and Pat Bergeson can be viewed here.

The August 27 concert by Tommy Emmanuel, C.G.P., in salute of Chet Atkins can be viewed online along with photos from the concert.

A video of the August 13 standing-room-only panel discussion with Steve Wariner, C.G.P.; Billy Edd Wheeler; and Paul Yandell, C.G.P., can be viewed here.

Check out photos from the August 10 Opening Reception here.

Past Gretsch Events 2011

October 7th, 2011

Here are some highlights from the 2nd half of 2011:

CHRISTMAS 4 KIDS – 11/21
On November 21, Charlie Daniels Band & Friends held a sold-out benefit concert at the Ryman Auditorium. A Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman guitar was auctioned as part of their fundraising efforts.

BIGSBY AT PHILLY GUITAR SHOW – 11/12 & 11/13
The Great American Fall Guitar Show took place November 12-13 in Philadelphia at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center. Bigsby was there with a full line of products, demo guitars, as well as free installations and “pit-stop” program.  Read more.

BIGSBY AT GUITARLINGTON – 10/15 & 10/16
Bigsby, along with Tom “TV” Jones and Gretsch Guitars, exhibited at the GuitArlington guitar show on 10/15 & 10/16.  This one-stop GUITAR EXTRAVAGANZA included FREE Bigsby Installations (with restrictions) and guitar setups by TV Jones.  Also offered were Bigsby Pit-Stops–a “refresher” for Bigsby-equipped guitars where our Bigsby technician checked to ensure guitars brought in by show attendees were at their tip-top vibrato playing performance. Read more.

USPTO Trademark Expo – 10/14 & 10/15
Bigsby & Gretsch exhibited at the USPTO Trademark Expo held at their headquarters in Alexandria, VA. The annual event is designed to educate the public about the value of trademarks in the global marketplace.  This year included a special musical performance by a talented young guitar player named Enrique.  Enrique was joined by the legendary Chubby Checker on Friday and by a variety of costumed characters on Saturday. Check out photos and videos from the event here.

THE SAVANNAH FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL & NOTEWORTHY ART GUITAR AUCTION – 10/7 to 10/9
The Gretsch Foundation—the charitable arm of The Gretsch Family—proudly supported the 2011 Savannah Folk Music Festival.  The Festival kicked off Friday, 10/7, with concert performances in Savannah’s Ellis Square and part one of the “Noteworthy Art” guitar auction and concluded on Sunday, 10/9, with more music in Forsyth Park along with part two of the guitar auction.  More information on the festival can be found here.

Fred Gretsch & Chris Desa, president of the Savannah Folk Music Society, appeared on WTOC11’s Mid-Morning Live on 10/5 to discuss the festival and Noteworthy Art guitar auction. Watch the program here. Immediately afterward, Chris performed a song on a beautiful art guitar he purchased at last year’s auction. Watch his performance.  WTOC11 also aired a story covering the festival’s opening night.

GRETSCH NASHVILLE ROUNDUP WEEKEND – 9/30 to 10/2
The Gretsch Nashville Roundup happened over the last weekend in September. Our friends at GretschPages.com facilitated live streaming for those who couldn’t attend. In case you didn’t catch it, check out some videos from the weekend here. It was another great Roundup that included a special visit from Duane & Deed Eddy.

FRED & JOE SHOW CANADIAN TOUR – 9/25 to 9/28
Fred Gretsch & Joe Carducci took their “Fred & Joe Show” to Canada beginning with GuitarWorks in Calgary on 9/23, followed by the Edmonton Fall Guitar Show on 9/25, and the WestEnd Rock Shop on 9/26. Gretsch artist Paul Pigat also conducted a guitar workshop and clinic on 9/28 at Avenue Guitars in Edmonton.  Check out some event pictures here.

GRETSCH AT ABBEY ROAD ON THE RIVER – 9/1 to 9/5
Another great event at Abbey Road on the River in DC took place over Labor Day weekend. The Fred & Joe Show brought standing-room-only crowds. A Gretsch guitar was also auctioned to help American Red Cross fundraising efforts bringing in $4,500.  A fun, spontaneous sing-along broke out in front of the Gretsch exhibit while attendees waited for the doors to open for the “LOVE” performance. Check it out here.

CHET ATKINS: CERTIFIED GUITAR PLAYER EXHIBITION OPENING – 8/10
A special exhibition opening reception took place Wednesday evening, August 10, at The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum in advance of the exhibit opening to the public on August 12.  During the exhibition opening weekend, the public was able to enjoy an exhibit introduction and talk by a Museum curator; a panel discussion featuring Ray Stevens, Steve Wariner, and Billy Edd Wheeler and illustrated with photos, film footage, and recordings from the Museum’s Frist Library and Archive; film screenings; and much more.  The exhibition runs until June of 2012.  Check out pictures from reception here.

CREAM CITY MUSIC – 7/23
July 23 was “All About Gretsch Day” at Cream City Music in Brookfield, WI. George Harrison Tribute Duo Jet display, door prizes, presentations, and a whole lot more! Check out a video of the display here.

SUMMER NAMM – 7/21 to 7/23
Summer NAMM 2011 included the Wanna Play Music public day on Saturday, 7/23.  The Bigsby booth was a hopping place featuring a display of all Bigsby vibrato models, handles, books, as well as guitars equipped with the appropriate vibratos. Get all the details here.

BALTO-DC ROUNDUP – 7/23
At the Harford Park Community Assoc Center in Baltimore on Saturday, July 23. Attendees were treated to a trivia contest, giveaways, and much more with live coverage that began at 4 p.m. Check out videos from this terrific event here.

CHET ATKINS APPRECIATION SOCIETY CONVENTION – 7/13 to 7/16
The 27th Annual “CAAS” (Chet Atkins Appreciation Society) convention took place at the Sheraton Music City Hotel in Nashville from July 13 to 16. Folks from around the globe once again gathered to pay homage to Chet Atkins at this annual event. Gretsch Guitars and local Gretsch dealer, Broadway Sound, had a magnificent display honoring Atkins with his signature model Gretsch guitars, rare vintage photos & memorabilia.  More info here.

SWEETWATER GEARFEST – 6/24 to 6/25
Gretsch Guitars was at Sweetwater’s GearFest 2011 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Fred Gretsch, Joe Carducci, and Paul Pigat attended with a special presentation at 1:30 p.m. on June 25. Check out a video of Fred & Joe talking with Mitch Gallagher here.

GRETSCH DAY AT STREETSOUNDS – 6/18
Gretsch Day at StreetSounds in Brooklyn, NY happened on Saturday, June 18. Included in the festivities were the Fred & Joe Show presentation, a performance by Gretsch artist Paul Pigat, an appearance by the lovely Kim Falcon, prizes, in-store sales, and a walking tour of the Williamsburg neighborhood by Fred Gretsch.  View videos from the event here.

Art Blakey – The Driving Force

October 6th, 2011

The history of Gretsch drums is inseparably linked to the history of American music. And never was that more true than during the “Golden Age” of jazz that began at the end of the 1940s and ran through the early 1960s. In those years jazz dominated New York’s legendary 52nd Street club scene, with groups powered by stellar drummers playing on Gretsch drumsets.

“First among equals” in a group that included Max Roach, Elvin Jones, and “Philly Joe” Jones was the inimitable Art Blakey. Art’s unique drumming style combined a primal force and an elemental simplicity. With a driving 2/4 hi-hat pulse, a hissing ride cymbal sound, and loud snare and bass drum accents in triplets or cross-rhythms, Art streamlined the swinging groove of bebop, making it less busy and spasmodic.

Art established himself in the 1940s, working as a sideman for some of the biggest jazz artists of the day. During that same period he visited West Africa—after which he converted to Islam and took the name Abdullah Ibn Buhaina (which led to his nickname of “Bu”).

In the early 1950s Art formed the Jazz Messengers, a group based on his belief that a jazz group should be a solid cohesive unit, not just “five guys blowing on the same changes.” Accordingly, the Jazz Messengers rhythm section didn’t just play time behind the horns. Instead they backed up the horn section solidly and would set up the soloist—who, in turn, would listen and pick up cues that would be thrown his way.

For more than thirty years this legendary group served as the launching pad for young players who would influence music for generations to come. Just a short list of Messengers alumni includes Clifford Brown, Horace Silver, Wayne Shorter, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, and Wynton Marsalis.

One of the pinnacles of Art’s career was his appearance on the unparalleled jazz classic album Gretsch Drum Night At Birdland. Recorded live at the famous New York City nightclub in 1960, this remarkable album documents performances by four great Gretsch drum artists: Blakey, Charlie Persip, Elvin Jones, and “Philly Joe”Jones.

Long-time Gretsch AR director Phil Grant said of Blakey, “Art was everybody’s all-time drummer. He was an individualist, a soloist. Not the greatest technician, by far. But he made up for that with his ideas and innovations; the way he did things. When he played a roll, it wasn’t the greatest roll, but it did things for you. He was quite a guy.”

Art continued to perform with the Jazz Messengers into the late 1980s. Over the years his force and fury on the drums eventually cost him much of his hearing. At the end of his life he often played strictly by instinct. Art died in 1990, leaving behind an enviable legacy and an approach to jazz that’s still the model for countless hard-bop players.

Enjoying Art Blakey

YouTube has an abundance of clips that showcase Art Blakey in his innovative prime, as well as clips from his later years when he was as much a musical mentor as a bandleader.  To begin with, check out a great Blakey drum solo from 1965 here.

Who says jazz can’t groove? Listen to “Moanin’,” performed by Art and The Jazz Messengers live in Belgium in 1958 here.

Art’s dynamic approach is evident on “Dat Dere,” played with the Messengers on a TV appearance in 1961 here.

A trademark drum intro and a dynamic solo by Art spice up a super-cool jazz waltz called—appropriately enough—“Kozo’s Waltz”—from the classic  ANight In Tunisia album. A clip from the record can be seen here.

You can see and hear the terrific interplay between Art and the various soloists in the Messengers playing “Close Your Eyes” on another TV clip from the 1960s. The sidemen are Lee Morgan – trumpet, Wayne Shorter – sax, Jymie Merritt – bass, and Walter Davis – piano. The clip can be seen here.

Art Blakey’s discography as a solo artist, as a sideman with other jazz greats, and as the leader of The Jazz Messengers is a study in itself, which you can pursue at WikiPedia or AllMusic.com. Just to get you started, three classic Blakey recordings to check out include The Big Beat (Blue Note, 1960), A Night In Tunisia (Blue Note, 1960), and Ugetsu—Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers At Birdland (Riverside, 1963). They’re available through Amazon, CDUniverse, and other online sources.

Fred Gretsch & Randy Bachman Together In Edmonton

September 29th, 2011

Two Music Greats Meet In The North

Every so often fate aligns to bring major figures in music history together unexpectedly. Such an alignment occurred this past September 26.

Two Icons of The Music Industry: Randy Bachman and Fred W. Gretsch.

It happened when Gretsch Company president Fred W. Gretsch and Canadian rock great Randy Bachman (founding member of The Guess Who) met in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Fred was there—in tandem with Gretsch Guitars product manager Joe Carducci—for the pair’s popular “Fred & Joe Show”, Canadian tour edition. Randy was there to sign copies of his recently released book, Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap Stories.

“The Fred & Joe Show” is the only event of its kind in the music industry. Where else can guitarists and music fans learn about the history of Gretsch instruments, the Gretsch Company, and the Gretsch family—all directly from the man whose name is on the products? The show combines rare film clips and photos with Fred’s personal reminiscences and anecdotes, creating a direct connection between the past, present, and future of Gretsch guitars.

Guess Who Founding Guitarist Randy Bachman (Center, Left) and Gretsch Company President Fred W. Gretsch (Center, Right) are Flanked by Angela Owen and Al Dobish, Owners of Edmonton’s WestEnd Rock Shop.

Over the past four years Fred Gretsch and Joe Carducci have logged thousands of miles, taking their uniquely educational and entertaining presentation to music stores and guitar shops across North America. The Canadian tour included stops at GuitarWorks in Calgary, the Edmonton Fall Guitar Show, and Edmonton’s WestEnd Rock Shop.  These shows were extra special due to the addition of a George Harrison tribute–a traveling exhibit of George Harrison memorabilia commemorating the Gretsch G6128T-GH George Harrison signature Duo Jet guitar.  View more tour pictures.

Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap Stories
features tales and anecdotes taken from Randy’s popular Saturday-night show on Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) radio. Included are stories about making music, discovering new guitar licks, and the often meandering route to achieving commercial success in the music business. Randy’s stories are told with humility and a folksy charm. Though a star in his own right, he describes the euphoria associated with meeting his own music idols, including Gretsch guitar great Chet Atkins. To bring the reader more closely into the musical context of the book, each chapter ends with a suggested playlist, while other individual cuts are referenced throughout.

Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap Stories is full of incredible stories about many of rock’s greatest artists—taken from the memory vault of one of the best-known among them.  Read a review.

Gretsch Foundation Supports Savannah Folk Music Fest

September 22nd, 2011

The Gretsch Foundation—the charitable arm of The Gretsch Family—is proud to support the 2011 Savannah Folk Music Festival. The event will present concert performances in Savannah’s Ellis Square on Friday, October 7, and in Forsythe Park on Sunday, October 9. In addition, an old-time country dance will be held at the Notre Dame Academy gym on Saturday, October 8.

The Festival serves as a showcase for the quality and diversity in musical talent found among members of the Savannah Folk Music Society. Performances will span the range of traditional, old-time, blues, international, folk revival, and contemporary musical styles. All events are free and open to the public.

"The Garden" by Barbara Gentry

In support of the Festival, the Gretsch Foundation has donated fourteen Historic Series acoustic guitars that have been individually and originally painted, carved, and sculpted by some of Savannah’s most creative and talented artists. All fourteen of these Art Guitars will be sold at silent auction during the Friday and Sunday concert events at Ellis Square and Forsythe Park.

The Sunday concert will also feature a second special auction, at which a playable Gretsch guitar—signed by all the performers—will be the prize item.

“Goodnight Irene” by Joni Bishop

According to Fred Gretsch, president of the Savannah-based Gretsch Company, “Gretsch guitars have been an important element of folk music for generations. So I’m proud that fifteen uniquely crafted Gretsch guitars will be a part of this year’s Folk Music Festival.” Fred himself is currently scheduled to promote the Festival with a personal appearance on WTOC Channel 11’s Mid Morning Live program on Wednesday, October 5.

"Trumpeting the Spring" by Kathy Miller

The Gretsch Art Guitar exhibit is viewable from now until October 7 at the Ellis Square Visitor Center in downtown Savannah. The Center is open from 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. Photos of the guitars are also available for viewing at the Savannah Folk Music Festival’s website.

For more information about the Savannah Folk Music Festival, including performer names and schedules, go to the “Festival” page at savannahfolk.org.

Appreciating Sonny Payne

September 16th, 2011

by Fred Gretsch

I recently came across a terrific YouTube link leading to a rare early TV clip that showcases the Count Basie Orchestra performing at New York City’s legendary Birdland club in the mid-1950s. Among the many great moments in this clip are several shots of drummer Sonny Payne driving the band in his inimitable style.

Because Gretsch drums are so strongly identified with the small-group drummers of the be-bop era, people sometimes forget that they were also the choice of some of the greatest big band drummers ever to play, including Louie Bellson, Don Lamond, Sam Woodyard—and Sonny Payne.

Vintage Gretsch Ad Featuring the Great Sonny Payne

Sonny played with the Count Basie band from 1955 through 1965. And though initially it might have been a challenging task for him to follow his predecessors—the inimitable “Papa” Jo Jones and the vastly underappreciated Shadow Wilson—Sonny brought his own special brand of dynamic technique and showmanship to the drum chair.

No less a drum giant than Elvin Jones said of Sonny: “I first saw Sonny in the early 1950s with Count Basie. Swinging…dynamics…intensity. He was happy—a pure showman. But a showman who knew what he was doing. He just made that band come alive.”

Louie Bellson added, “For a while everybody was criticizing Sonny [because] he was a [drumstick] juggler. But boy, he kicked that Basie band. The minute you walked in and heard Basie’s band, right away your eyes went up to Sonny Payne. Basie himself summed it up, when he said ‘No question about it, Sonny Payne was the spark plug in my band.’”

Sonny Payne and That Great Gretsch Sound

Sonny left the Count Basie Orchestra in 1965. He worked with a number of different artists over the next several years, but his main gig was drumming for Harry James, whose high-energy band was a perfect fit for Sonny’s high-energy style. Sonny drummed with the Harry James band from 1966 until his untimely passing in 1979 at the age of fifty-four.

You can find additional terrific clips of Sonny’s drumming at YouTube:  Sonny Solo and  Zurich Concert.  All great viewing and listening!

Bigsby & Gretsch to Exhibit at USPTO Trademark Expo

September 15th, 2011

Congressional Record–USPTO Trademark Expo 2011

Update:  Congressional Record Published Honoring USPTO Trademark Expo

Note: The Congressional Record is published by the United States Government Printing Office and is issued daily when the United States Congress is in session.

Update:  Special Musical Performance

A special musical performance took place at the Bigsby/Gretsch booth on Friday and Saturday.  Read more here.





The Bigsby Division of the Gretsch Company will once again be exhibiting at the National Trademark Expo presented by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The 2011 Expo will take place on Friday, October 14, and Saturday, October 15, at the USPTO’s headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia at 600 Dulany Street and admission is free. The two-day event is designed to educate the public about the value of trademarks in the global marketplace.

Last year’s Expo attracted over 10,000 visitors of all ages. This year’s Expo will highlight such themes as “Unusual Trademarks” and “Brand Evolution,” and will feature educational workshops for adults and children, exhibits of authentic and counterfeit goods, and costumed characters.

Over one hundred companies applied to exhibit at the Expo yet Bigsby was one of only 27 companies who were eventually selected. The distinctive trademarked shape of Bigsby’s famous vibrato tailpieces will be in good company, however, 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.

Gretsch guitars have featured Bigsby vibrato tailpieces for more than fifty years.  The Bigsby/Gretsch display at the USPTO Expo will include information on the company’s history, including the fact that Gretsch owns a registration for the configuration of a Bigsby-design guitar, as well as for the surname Bigsby. The display will also demonstrate 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.

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.

Authentic Bigsby Vibrato Alongside Look-alike on Permanent Display at USPTO

The worldwide proliferation of counterfeit instruments underscores the importance of strong trademark protection, along with the impact of creative and recognizable trademark designs. One of the fundamental purposes of the USPTO Expo is to highlight these issues and the displays from Bigsby and the other participants shall all be designed to serve that goal.

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

For more information on Bigsby products and the Gretsch/Bigsby connection, go to www.bigsby.com.

Paul Yandell: The Last “Certified Guitar Player”

September 12th, 2011

Throughout the history of the music industry, there have been artists who’ve gained tremendous acclaim and recognition for their accomplishments. Such an artist was guitar legend Chet Atkins, whose multiple claims to fame are well known and undisputed.

But there are also artists whose talents, accomplishments, and contributions to the industry somehow don’t garner them the recognition that they genuinely deserve. Such an artist is Paul Yandell, the long-time bandleader for, and confidant of, Chet Atkins—and a stellar guitarist in his own right.

At one point in his career Chet Atkins coined the term “Certified Guitar Player” to describe an artist who personified the ultimate in performance skill and musical quality. Chet personally bestowed the C.G.P. title on only four guitarists:  Tommy Emmanuel, John Knowles, the late Jerry Reed, and Steve Wariner. But there was one more name that needed to be added to the list.

From left: Merle Atkins Russell, Certified Guitar Player award recipient Paul Yandell, and Steve Wariner at the presentation ceremony on August 13. (photo: Caryn Wariner)

So it was that at a program held this past August 13 to mark the opening of the new Chet Atkins exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame® & Museum in Nashville, Chet’s daughter Merle Atkins Russell asked Steve Wariner to help her continue her father’s tradition and read a proclamation that officially conferred the final C.G.P. title on Paul Yandell.

The proclamation read, in part: Whereas, long a fixture as Chet’s band leader and confidant, Paul Yandell was truly invaluable. Whereas, he is no stranger to accolades for his many contributions to country music, the Nashville recording community, and the guitar world in his own rights. Whereas, observing that Paul Yandell was involved in the distribution of all the C.G.P. honors as Chet’s assistant, and being extremely humble and modest, recused himself of that very honor.

Be it resolved by the Atkins family that throughout the land Paul Yandell, thumbpicker supreme, be known as the last and final C.G.P., certified guitar player.  Paul, you are truly the C.G.P.’s C.G.P.!

From left: Steve Wariner and Merle Atkins Russell presented the final Certified Guitar Player award proclamation to Paul Yandell on August 13. (photo: Caryn Wariner)

“I was thrilled to be invited to help honor Paul like this,” said Wariner. “Paul Yandell is my hero, and he deserves this more than anyone.  He’s an incredible player and a dear friend to me, as he was to Chet. What a cool, classy thing for Merle and the Atkins family to do. So completely right!”

An accomplished player by the time he left high school, Paul Yandell moved from western Kentucky to Nashville in 1955. He began his career with The Louvin Brothers, working with them until 1959. After serving in the Army, Paul played for Kitty Wells from 1961-1970. He joined Jerry Reed in 1970, where, as he puts it, he “went to college” learning from Jerry. Paul joined Chet Atkins in 1975 and spent the next twenty-five years supporting Chet in his career.

As a top Nashville session player, Paul played on hit records with Atkins, Reed, Dolly Parton, Steve Wariner, Hank Thompson, Perry Como, Roger Whitaker, Kitty Wells, The Louvin Brothers, Les Paul, Woody Herman, The Everly Brothers, and Mary Chapin Carpenter. He also appeared on TV shows such as The Dinah Shore Show, The Tonight Show, Today, The Pat Sajak Show, The Merv Griffin Show and Nashville Now.

Following Chet Atkins’ passing in 2001, Paul released a solo CD entitled Forever Chet, which featured songs that Chet had performed throughout his career. Paul’s 2004 Dream Train release featured many of his own tunes—and was largely performed on the Gretsch “Nashville Classic” guitar that he co-designed. Paul released In the Groove in 2005 and Drive On in 2006. In 2009, he performed at the ceremony at which Chet Atkins was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville.

From left: Fred Gretsch, Paul Yandell, and Dinah Gretsch together at the August 10th reception celebrating the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum’s new tribute exhibit Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player. (Donn Jones Photography)

Fred and Dinah Gretsch (president and CFO of The Gretsch Company, respectively) were on hand for the festivities surrounding the opening of the Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame® & Museum. They had the opportunity to meet with Paul Yandell, personally and on behalf of Gretsch Guitars, after Paul had received his C.G.P. award. “We spoke with Paul on Saturday and Sunday,” said Fred Gretsch, “and we know how happy he was. We were equally happy for him. Paul is a tremendous artist, and we’re honored by his long association with Gretsch Guitars. Dinah and I offer our sincerest congratulations to Paul, as well as our kudos to the Atkins family for their thoughtfulness in presenting Paul with his much-deserved C.G.P. title.”