Tag Archives: Fred Gretsch

Parade Interviews Fred Gretsch About Beatlemania

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Fred GretschFifty years ago, on Feb. 9, 1964, the Beatles made their U.S. television debut appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. With George Harrison rocking a Gretsch Duo Jet that night, business skyrocketed for Gretsch guitars.

President and CEO Fred Gretsch recently spoke with Parade about how Beatlemania transformed his family-owned company.

“Overnight, thousands of garage bands were created that wanted to emulate the Beatles…[Demand] went up 25 percent,” said Gretsch. “You know, the baby boom generation was teenagers at that point in time. Rock and roll had begun mid-’50s [and] was gaining steam, [so] everybody was prepped and focused on the Beatles when they arrived…everybody was ready for them.”

Read the full interview here.

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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.

(more…)

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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.

(more…)

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Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum Hosts Reception for New Chet Atkins Exhibit

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Photos by Donn Jones Photography

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum celebrated the grand opening of the Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player exhibit on Wednesday night with a private reception. Approximately 200 guests, including Fred Gretsch, Atkins’ daughter Merle Russell, Duane Eddy and James Burton, were warmly greeted by museum director Kyle Young.

“Chet was always a supportive friend of this institution,” he said. “He was also one of country music’s ultimate renaissance men, one of the greatest instrumentalists in American music history, and a true musical savant. We are truly honored to tell his story, one we know will resonate with country fans old and new.”

The evening included memorable musical performances by award-winning thumbpicker Ben Hall and world-class guitar-slinger Steve Wariner, who received official “C.G.P.” status even from Atkins in 1997.

Gretsch Company president Fred Gretsch also addressed the crowd, sharing details of Atkins’ history with their guitar company. Gretsch also brought onstage Atkins’ teary-eyed friend, Paul Yandell.

At the conclusion of the program, guests were invited to take an exclusive advance tour of the Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player exhibition which officially opens to the public on Friday, August 12.

The Gretsch Company joins the Great American Country Television Network as proud supporters of the new exhibit, which is scheduled to run through June 11, 2012. The exhibition will be accompanied by an ongoing series of programs throughout its duration.

For details on this grand opening weekend events, click here.

Australian guitar legend, Troy Cassar-Daley enjoys the exhibit. Photos/Donn Jones Photography

Fred Gretsch and Kyle Young. Photos/Donn Jones Photography

Steve Wariner, Earl Klugh, Reggie Young, Duane Eddy, James Burton, Scotty Moore, Paul Yandell, Ben Hall and Mark Pritcher. Photos/Donn Jones Photography

Paul Yandell and Duane Eddy. Photos/Donn Jones Photography

Steve Wariner. Photos/Donn Jones Photography

Ben Hall performs. Photos/Donn Jones Photography

Fred & Dinah Gretsch. Photos/Donn Jones Photography

http://www.gretschguitars.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/freddinah.jpg DIna

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Chet Atkins Appreciation Society Celebrates Annual Convention

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That Great Gretsch Sound, via Chet “style” finger pickin’, echoed throughout the ballrooms, hallways and lobby at the beautiful Sheraton Music City Hotel in Nashville, Tenn., from July 13-16, 2011 during the 27th Annual “CAAS” (Chet Atkins Appreciation Society) convention.

Folks from around the globe once again gathered to pay homage to Chester Burton Atkins (B: June 20, 1924 – D: June 30, 2001), better known as Chet Atkins for the celebrated annual event. Gretsch Guitars and local Gretsch dealer, Broadway Sound (Knoxville, Tenn.), had a magnificent display honoring Atkins with his signature model Gretsch guitars, rare vintage photos & memorabilia. The Gretsch Company president Fred Gretsch was also on hand to meet & greet attendees.

In recognition of a special exhibit honoring Atkins at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum in Nashville from August 11, 2011 thru June 2012, Gretsch unveiled the G6122-1959 “Chet Atkins HALL OF FAME Country Gentleman” guitar at this year’s CAAS event.

Check out the videos below from the event, including performances and a few words from Gretsch product specialist Joe Carducci and Fred Gretsch …

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