Richard “Dick” Gretsch Sr. at The Century Mark — Happy Birthday!

June 14th, 2008

Danbury, Connecticut — As he celebrated his one hundredth birthday on June 14, Richard “Dick” Gretsch Sr. had a lot to look back on. He’s led a fascinating life full of noteworthy milestones. But misty-eyed reminiscing isn’t really Dick’s style. He’s too busy.

A long-time Connecticut resident, Dick currently makes his home at the Glen Crest retirement center in Danbury. He lives independently in his own apartment, the walls of which are covered with framed photos, newspaper articles, and certificates that document his personal and professional accomplishments. A small patio is brightened by several flowering plants and a bird feeder that attracts jays and robins.

The apartment might seem the quintessential home for the quiet retiree-were it not for the room that serves as Dick’s office. There, a printer busily spits out emails from Read the rest of this entry »

Bo Diddley Passes Away at Age 79

June 2nd, 2008

Long Time Gretsch Friend Entertained and Inspired the Globe

Legendary R&B king and long-time Gretsch friend, Bo Diddley, has passed away at the age of 79. With his rectangular Gretsch guitar and trademark “Bo Diddley Beat”, he entertained and inspired the globe. His Ed Sullivan television debut aired way back in 1955. That was America’s first look at a man whose unique rhythm and style would eventually serve as fuel for the Rock’n'Roll, Blues, and Psycodelic genres. Read the rest of this entry »

Gretsch Takes Over the Winter 2008 NAMM Show

February 5th, 2008

Kicking off the new year, the 2008 Winter Show was the busiest on record!

Anaheim, CA — With an official total of 88,128 registrants, this year’s winter NAMM Show was the busiest on record. This semiannual event, hosted by the city of Anaheim, featured five main areas that allowed attendees to see, try and buy from the ever-growing array of musical products. Buyers, manufacturers and artists were treated to a dizzying display of the Music Industries top shelf merchandise.

As always, Gretsch and all Gretsch Products were on hand and showcased throughout the five halls of the convention center. Gretsch Guitars, Drums, Gear, Amps and Bigsby Vibratos seemed Read the rest of this entry »

The Gretsch Company Celebrates 125 Years of That Great Gretsch Sound

January 20th, 2008

SAVANNAH, Ga., U.S.A., January 1, 2008 – The Gretsch Company, one of the world’s most well-known drum and guitar manufacturers, will celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2008. Throughout the year, Gretsch will celebrate by introducing new lines of limited edition anniversary drums, guitars, and other Gretsch products; conducting an online search for the world’s best unsigned bands; and hosting a major concert event in New York City featuring an illustrious lineup of “Gretsch Greats.”

“It’s quite exciting to reach this remarkable milestone,” said President Fred W. Gretsch. “We owe our many years of success to four generations of Gretsch owners and the dedicated men and women on their team who were – and are – passionate about great music and high-quality instruments.” Read the rest of this entry »

Jimmie Webster: A Great Gretsch Ambassador

January 5th, 2008

Jimmie Webster: Gretsch Celebrates the 100th Birthday of a Colorful Musician, Inventor, and Traveling Ambassador for Gretsch Guitars.

Jimmie Webster was born on August 11, 1908 in Van Wert, Ohio into a very musical family. Both parents played as well as taught piano and his sister, Virginia, became a well-respected jazz pianist. Keeping the family tradition alive, Webster excelled at piano but also had a passion for the guitar.

In the 1930s Webster was a professional musician in the New York City area and married L’Ana Hyams, one of the first women jazz bandleaders. Webster was also an in-demand professional piano tuner, ran a small music store, and began doing a little consulting work for the Gretsch Company.

During World War II Webster served as a musician in the U.S. Air Corps in Iceland. After the war, Webster moved to Long Island, N.Y. where he became more involved with the Gretsch Company. Webster’s long association with Gretsch guitars would span four decades. Read the rest of this entry »

Billy Gladstone: A Great Gretsch Ambassador

December 20th, 2007

Billy Gladstone: Legendary Percussionist, Innovative Inventor, and Gretsch Drum Ambassador.

Gretsch’s first endorsement superstar, Billy Gladstone, was a rare musical “triple threat.” Not only was Gladstone one of the most respected percussionists of his era (many say the best snare drum player who ever lived), he was also a creative inventor with over 20 U.S. patents to his name, as well as a respected instrument builder.

Born in Rumania on December 15, 1892 into a musical family, Gladstone’s English-born father supervised Rumania’s Government Band. At age seven, Gladstone joined his father’s band more for comedic purposes than for his musicianship. Although the little Gladstone drew laughs on stage struggling to play a big baritone horn, over time he learned to master the horn and other brass instruments as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Gretsch Unveils Est1883.Com Website

December 12th, 2007

In the spirit of entrepreneurial cooperation, the Gretsch Company has registered the URL www.est1883.com and is developing a website that can help promote all organizations that have “Established 1883″ in common. Designed as an Internet portal for American companies founded in 1883, the website will serve as a single online location for providing information and upcoming events in celebration of the 125th Anniversary and beyond.

Since 1883, the Gretsch Company has designed and manufactured the world’s best drums, guitars, and musical instrument accessories. The year 2008 will mark the company’s 125th anniversary. To commemorate the legacy as well as celebrate the “first year of our next 100 years”, Gretsch has planned a worldwide celebration, including publicity campaigns, limited edition instruments and identity items, and special events. In the course of planning for 2008, the Gretsch Company discovered that many other leading American companies and institutions were also established in 1883.

Examples include:

  • Wente Vineyards
  • Lucchese Boots
  • Kroger Stores
  • University of Texas
  • The Brooklyn Bridge
  • Life Magazine
  • The First Rodeo

The Gretsch Company invites any and all organizations that were established in 1883 to join us in commemorating our past, present, and future through est1883.com!

For more information visit: www.est1883.com

Gretsch Company Honored with 2007 Cox Family Enterprise Center’s Century Award for Family Business

December 6th, 2007

The Gretsch Company, one of the world’s most well-known drum and guitar manufacturers, received the Cox Family Enterprise Center’s 2007 Georgia Family Business of the Year Award at a reception at the Cobb Galleria Center in Atlanta on May 23. Based in Savannah, GA, the company was recognized for its enduring commitment to manufacturing professional quality, hand-crafted instruments for nearly 125 years.

The Gretsch Company was the recipient of the 2007 Century Award, designated for family businesses at least 100 years old. President Fred W. Gretsch attended the awards ceremony along with his wife and company CFO, Dinah Gretsch. Upon receiving the Century Award, Fred shared insights into the company’s remarkable history as well as his thoughts on family and business. Read the rest of this entry »