Tag Archives: Fred & Dinah Gretsch

2013: A Year of Celebrations for Gretsch’s 130th Anniversary

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Courtesy of Gretsch.com

2013 marked Gretsch’s 130th Anniversary – a milestone that has been celebrated with a wide variety of activities and events throughout the year. Below is a look at some of the celebrations that have made this anniversary so spectacular!

Announcing The Celebration
To ignite the celebration, Fred Gretsch sent out a message to the music world, inviting everyone to join the entire Gretsch family in celebrating their 130th year in the business.

“When my great-grandfather, Friedrich Gretsch, opened his instrument-making shop in Brooklyn, N.Y., back in 1883, he couldn’t know that he was establishing a musical dynasty that has continued over four generations,” said Fred Gretsch.

In January at the 2013 NAMM show in Anaheim, Calif., the Gretsch Custom Shop launched the beautiful G6118T 130th Anniversary model guitar. It turned out to be a gorgeous instrument, with a high-gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish in Metallic Gold on the top and Black on the back and sides. The guitar also boasted multiple silver-sparkle bindings.

The anniversary guitars were made even more special by the addition of a badge that boldly announced the company’s 130th year as a manufacturer.

“It’s a striking design and I’m proud to see it on our instruments,” Gretsch said at the time.

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Fred & Dinah Gretsch Celebrate Wedding Anniversary and 130th Gretsch Anniversary

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Several Gretsch fans, friends, family members and business associates converged on Randy Wood’s Pickin’ Parlor in Bloomingdale, Ga., earlier this month to celebrate the company’s 130th anniversary.

But the March 4 party was also celebrating the wedding anniversary of Fred and Dinah Gretsch, marking a truly joyous event.

A few artists were on hand, as well.

The husband-and-wife team of Richard Smith and Julie Adams got the musical festivities started, with Smith showing off his fingerpicking prowess as Adams accompanied him on the cello.

Joe Robinson was up next, and his set with bassist Marcelo Bakos and drummer Tito Pascoali offered a diverse offering of original music highlighting the Australian-born phenom’s guitar heroics.

After a brief break Robinson and Smith teamed up for an impromptu jam session, as the musicians took turns taking the lead on their Gretsch guitars.  A finale of the Chet Atkins instrumental was certainly a crowd favorite.

To view a photo album of the event, click here, and watch Fred Gretsch address the audience in the videos below, in addition to performance footage of Robinson and Smith.

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Fred & Dinah Gretsch Honor John Lennon

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Gretsch Guitar Placed at the Imagine Memorial in Central Park

Representing the fourth generation of Gretsch musical-instrument manufacturers, Fred and Dinah Gretsch made a visit to New York City’s Central Park today — the 30th anniversary of the assassination of legendary singer, composer and musician John Lennon. The couple was there to place a Gretsch Historic Series acoustic guitar near the “Imagine” memorial within the Strawberry Fields area. The guitar was inscribed with the word “Imagine” as well as being signed by Fred and Dinah. It was their way of paying their respects to John Lennon and to all his fans.

Although the Gretsches have lived in Georgia for many years, Fred Gretsch spent his boyhood in the New York City area.

“I was here in 1964 when the Beatles came,” says Fred. “Coming back to New York, where my family roots are, always kindles many tender reminiscences. But coming this time to honor John Lennon’s memory makes this visit especially poignant.”

Inside the tribute guitar placed by Fred and Dinah was a copy of a photo that’s near and dear to their hearts. It shows John Lennon playing a Gretsch guitar during the recording session for the Beatles’ classic hit “Paperback Writer” in 1966. The following reference to that guitar appears in the Beatles Gear book by Andy Babiuk:

“Keeping in step with their scheduled LP and 45 releases, the group set out to record a new single, ‘Paperback Writer.’ The April 13th session was photographically documented for The Beatles Monthly Book providing detailed information on the instruments used. New to their guitar line-up was a Gretsch Chet Atkins 6120 that Lennon used. The early-1960s orange-finished double-cutaway 6120 hollow body guitar had gold-plated hardware apart from its aluminum-colored Bigsby [vibrato tailpiece].”

In addition to the fact that John Lennon played the guitar, Fred Gretsch offered another reason for its sentimental value.

“It would have been made in the 1960s at the Gretsch factory in Brooklyn,” he explained. “My uncle, Fred Gretsch Jr., was running the company at that time. And ironically, Uncle Fred died in 1980—the same year in which John Lennon died.

“John’s music made an impression on millions of people around the world,” he concludes. “And it continues to do so, generation after generation. We placed the guitar at John’s memorial as a symbol that we hope will remind people of the power and importance of his music.”

CLICK HERE to watch video from the visit.


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