New Gretsch Spectra Sonic Guitars Offer Great Looks And Playability!

September 5th, 2001

Story by UEC

SpectraSonics The newest addition to the Gretsch Guitar Company’s professional guitar series is the Gretsch Spectra Sonic line designed by Tom Jones of TV Jones Guitars. On display at the 2001 Summer NAMM show in Nashville, these guitars attracted a lot enthusiastic interest from Gretsch booth visitors.

These stylish guitars including the Spectra Sonic Lead, C Melody, and Bass, were originally hand made to order and custom built by Tom Jones. Rich Modica, long-time guitar technician for Brian Setzer, collaborated with Tom to determine how these quality instruments could be put into quantity production and still maintain the unique qualities that make them so special. It was crucial that the instruments continue to be supremely playable, resonate with innovative tones, and be aesthetically engaging. Keeping these requirements in mind, it was the only obvious choice to have the Gretsch Guitar Company, the originator of the Rockabilly guitar, produce this handsome trio. Read the rest of this entry »

Vinnie Colaiuta World-Wide Clinc Tour
The Gretsch Company announced dates

September 4th, 2001

The Vinnie Colaiuta world clinic tour has been postponed until next year. The recent tragic events that have occurred in the USA have led us to a very serious and difficult reassessment of whether to continue with the Vinnie Colaiuta world clinic tour. Considering all the factors involved and after consultations with Vinnie himself, we have made the decision to postpone the tour until next year.

We believe that the safety of all those involved in the execution of the tour should be of singular importance. We do not wish to force Vinnie’s participation in the tour nor that of any of the staff that would be accompanying him while such concerns over safety exist. Unfortunately there is no telling when such safety might once more be firmly assured. For these reasons, we believe that caution and good sense requires us to postpone the tour until next year.

HUGE EQUIPMENT SALE at Fred Gretsch Enterprises Ridgeland SC plant

September 3rd, 2001

Story by UEC

Out of use tools and equipment no longer needed for production, for sale by Fred Gretsch Enterprises at their Ridgeland, SC plant. Mostly woodworking machinery and related items. Also, racking, shelving, metal conveyors, maple veneer, etc.

* For more Details Contact: Robert Krueger or Tel/Fax 864-879-4657.

Legendary Big Band Drummer First to Utilize Double-bass Drums.

August 24th, 2001

Story by UEC

Louie Bellson is considered one of the most talented and versatile drummers of the Big Band Era and has worked with the most respected names in the business including Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Count Basie and Tommy Dorsey. He is also credited with the invention of the two-bass drum kit.

Louie recalls how his collaboration with Gretsch helped launch his original ideas for a double bass drum kit and a revolving drum platform.

It was around 1946 when he approached the Gretsch Drum Company with his idea for a double bass drum set with multiple toms. The typical drum set of the day was a standard four piece kit. After his idea was turned down by other drum companies, Louie showed the idea to Gretsch. “I was criticized for my idea for a double bass set up. A lot of other companies weren’t too excited about constructing this kit. They said ‘What is this guy up to? What is that? He should go to the moon with Buck Rogers on that.’ Gretsch was with me all the way on it. They said ‘Yeah, OK, we’ll make it.’…”

Soon after Bellson began using the new double bass set-up he joined the Benny Goodman Band and later joined Tommy Dorsey. “When I joined Tommy Dorsey in 1947, he loved this set up. Plus we had a revolving platform that was my idea, too. When I’d play a drum solo, Tommy would push a button and turn me around.”

Chet Atkins Was One of the Most Respected Musicians of the Last Half Century. He Won 14 Grammy Awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award!

August 20th, 2001

Story by UEC

Chet Atkins died on Saturday morning, June 30th, 2001, at his home in Nashville, TN, after battling cancer for several years. His Funeral was held at the historic Ryman Auditorium, July 3rd and his eulogy was delivered by good friend and “Prairie Home Companion” radio host Garrison Keillor.

Thanks for all the great years Chet … from the Gretsch family.

Chet Atkins Chet Atkins was one of the most popular and best respected musicians of the last half century. He won 14 Grammy Awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame at age 49, making him the youngest inductee ever. Read the rest of this entry »

Gretsch Drum Artist Gregg Stocki Records With Billy Bob Thornton

August 15th, 2001

Story by UEC

Gretsch endorser, Gregg Stocki recently recorded with Hollywood’s Billy Bob Thornton for an Album titled “Private Radio” on Lost Highway Records. The Actor’s project is scheduled for released on Sept.11. Joining Gregg for the session was fellow band mate Steve Arnold, also with Marty Stuarts’s Band. Both are seen here in the photo taken at Thornton’s LA studio with Billy Bob and Matt Damon. “I don’t think he[Matt] plays an instrument but I did give him a few tambourine lessons so he could participate in the jam we had at the end of the day” as Gregg recalls.

Gregg explains how he got involved…”We originally got hooked up with Billy when we did the score for his yet to be released film entitled ‘Daddy and Them.’ It stars Billy, Laura Dern, Andy Griffith, Jim Varney, John Prine and Kelly Preston. We’ve since done another movie called ‘Waking Up in Reno’ which should be out this fall.” Read the rest of this entry »

Gretsch Enjoys Another Strong Showing at Nashville Namm Show!

August 13th, 2001

Story by UEC


In the sweltering summer heat of Nashville, the 2001 Namm show was as busy as ever with the hustle and bustle of music industry manufacturers, retailers and deal makers everywhere. One constant locale of non-stop traffic was the Gretsch Exhibit. The booth was packed with a wall of beautiful guitars and custom built drum kits! It attracted a continuous flow of players and enthusiasts alike.

For the guitar fanatics, there were beautiful new 6012 Series Acoustics in a variety of custom colors, a collection of “souped-up” Setzer Hot Rods, the gorgeous Stephen Stills, Duane Eddy and Elliot Easton Signature Series and the all new handmade Spectrasonics guitars that drew attention for their unique styling. The booth was chock full a Jets; Sparkle Jets, Double Jets, Junior Jets, Duo Jets, Jets, Jets and more Jets! Many of the instruments were outfitted with Bigsby Vibratos; the classic tailpiece that adds beauty and tone to any guitar. Read the rest of this entry »

Gretsch Endorser Buck Page
Receives Prestigious Living Legend Award!

July 24th, 2001

SAVANNAH, GA – Buck Page, country and western music legend and founder of the famous western group Riders of the Purple Sage, received the North America Country Music Associations International’s (NACMAI) prestigious Country/Western Living Legend Award on March 18, 2001. Buck was honored for his extensive career in the music industry at a ceremony that was held at the Louise Mandrell Theater in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Fred Gretsch, president of the Gretsch Company, was present at the ceremony in support of Buck saying “This is a wonderful occasion . . . one we are happy to attend”. The event was a fitting tribute to a man who has played an important part in this country’s western music heritage. Buck Page is well respected in the music community and is also an enthusiastic endorser of Gretsch instruments. Read the rest of this entry »