GretschGretsch was started in a small music shop in Brooklyn, N.Y., making banjos, drums and tambourines in 1883 by Friedrich Gretsch. Gretsch was a 27-year-old German immigrant, that opened this small shop shortly after his arrival to the United States. In 1895, Friedrich Gretsch became ill while traveling in Germany and dies at the very young age of 39. His fifteen-year-old son, Fred Gretsch, Sr., has to take over family business. In 1916, Fred Sr. moved operations to 10-story building at 60 Broadway in the Williamsburg section of in Brooklyn, N.Y.

By the 1920s Gretsch expands to become one of the world’s largest music instrument manufacturing factories. Around 1927, the company introduces historic Gretsch-American drum series, featuring the industry’s first multi ply drum shell. Gretsch is now using its own name on guitars for the first time, rather than just selling to wholesalers.

Gretsch Building in Brooklyn Illustration

Gretsch Building in Brooklyn Illustration

The ‘Broadkaster’ drum line was introduced in 1935. Duke Kramer begins his 70-year career at Gretsch. Known as “Mr. Guitar Man,” Kramer would become pivotal in making Gretsch electric guitars what they are today.

1939 Gretsch Electromatic

1939 Gretsch Electromatic

Gretsch’s first electric guitar, the Electromatic was introduced in 1939. The same year, the Synchromatic archtop guitar series came out. Jimmie Webster, guitar innovator and player, joins Gretsch. Distinctive triangle sound hole appears on Gretsch acoustic guitars.

Fred Gretsch, Sr. retires from the company in 1942, leaving the day-to-day operations to his sons, Fred Gretsch, Jr. and William “Bill” Gretsch, both of whom had been active in the business since 1927.

Gretsch soon stops instrument production like many other companies to assist in the war effort. After only a brief term at the company’s helm, Fred Gretsch, Jr. leaves the company to serve as a commander in the U.S. Navy. Bill Gretsch becomes president. In 1946, Gretsch assumes instrument production. Bill Gretsch dies from an illness in 1948. Fred Gretsch, Jr. assumes control of the business.

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Leo Fender creates the first mass-produced solid body guitar named the Broadcaster in 1951. Gretsch sends telegram to Fender pointing out that they have a long time trademark for “BroadKaster” and that Fender should not use the name “Broadcaster” for the new fangled solid body guitar. Fender eventually changes the name to “Telecaster.”

1954 Gretsch Model 6192 Electro II Cutaway Synchromatic

1954 Gretsch Model 6192 Electro II Cutaway Synchromatic

First cutaway bodies appear on Electromatic and new Electro II guitar models around 1951. The Duo Jet started production in 1953 with Gretsch responding to the introduction of the 1952 Gibson Les Paul.

Chet Atkins Endorsement

In 1954, Gretsch strikes a deal with guitarist Chet Atkins to develop a Chet Atkins-designed Gretsch guitar. This starts one of the longest endorsement deals between an artist and guitar company. Chet Atkins was one of the most famous and prolific guitarists of his day, and his endorsement gave Gretsch greater visibility in competition with Gibson and Fender. Chet was actively working with Gretsch on the guitars designs.

Chet Atkins

Chet Atkins

Chet was on of the most influential guitar players that reached way past country into Rockabilly, Rock-n-Roll, Pop and Jazz. He produced and played on so many recording in all these genres including the Everly Brothers early Pop and Rock records.

Interesting fact is that during the 1950s and, to a lesser extent, into the ’60s, Gretsch guitar retail prices were actually the highest out of the top four guitar builders, which included Gibson, Guild and Fender. Epiphone was purchased by Gibson in 1957.

In 1954, a Gibson Les Paul “Gold Top” retailed at $225 and the Les Paul Custom “Black Beauty” at $325, but you could go home with a Les Paul Junior for just $99.50. Meanwhile, the Fender Telecaster was $189.50 and the new model Stratocaster was $249.50. That same year, the Gretsch Chet Atkins Model 6120 (the “quintessential” Gretsch electric) carried a list price of $385. Gretsch was not making cheap guitars.

The original Chet Atkins model 6120, usually referred to as “Western Orange” used actually had DeArmond pickups, as it was built before Gretsch unveiled their humbucking FilterTrons in 1958 that were designed by Ray Butts as a request from Chet himself. This was the same model Duane Eddy used on his famous recordings.

Gretsch White Falcon

Gretsch White Falcon

The Gretsch White Falcon was created by Jimmie Webster as a “showpiece” exhibiting the craft of Gretsch’s luthiers, not as an actual production model, for the 1954 NAMM Show. The guitar was so popular at the show it was put into production and went on sale the following year.

1955 Reissue Gretsch White Falcon

1955 Reissue Gretsch White Falcon

The White Falcon has a 17-inch size, white finish with gold-sparkle pickguard featuring an engraved falcon. It is a striking guitar and was Gretsch’s most expensive. Jimmie Webster’s 1954 version had triple binding, gold-plated hardware, an ebony fretboard with mother-of-pearl inlays, and an eye-catching “Cadillac G” tailpiece.

Gretsch White Penguin

Gretsch White Penguin

Gretsch Black Falcon

Gretsch Black Falcon

Later, came many different White Falcon models, a White Penguin model based on the DuoJet body size and the Black Falcon. The White Falcon is still one of Gretsch’s most popular models.

1958 Gretsch

1958 Gretsch Tennessean

With 1958, Gretsch introduced the Tennessean and the Country Gentleman bringing the number of Chet Atkins models up to four. Most of the guitars switched the Dynasonics single coil pickups to FilterTrons which were humbuckers. Gretsch celebrated 75 years in business with the introduction of the Anniversary models. In 1959, the Zero Fret was introduced.

Duane Eddy

Gretsch sold thousands of guitars with Chet’s name on the pickguard, most notably the 6120 Chet Atkins model, one of which was purchased in 1957 by Duane Eddy. The worldwide success of Eddy’s “twangy” instrumental records, television appearances, and extensive touring, helped expose the Gretsch guitar to the teenage rock and roll market. Duane Eddy top ten instrumental hit, “Rebel Rouser” in 1958, got other players interested with the “twang” of his instrument, particularly those low, fat treble notes.

Duane Eddy

Duane Eddy

George Harrison, years later, would refer to this model as “the Eddie Cochran/Duane Eddy guitar”. Other Chet Atkins models were the Country Gentleman (named after an Atkins instrumental hit) and the Tennessean, a lower cost version of the Country Gentleman.

1957 Gretsch Silver Jet

1957 Gretsch Silver Jet

Gretsch begins its eye-catching “color revolution” by introducing sparkling Silver Jet and famous Western Orange, Cadillac Green and Jaguar Tan finishes. First Bigsby vibratos offered on Gretsch electrics. Gretsch introduces White Falcon and 6120 Chet Atkins models in 1955. Followed by the Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman guitar model in 1957. Gretsch builds Bo Diddley his futuristic Jupiter Thunderbird guitar in 1959.

Rockabilly Era – Eddie Cochran and Cliff Gallup

Eddy Cochran and his Gretsch guitar

Eddy Cochran and his Gretsch guitar

Eddie Cochran had a short but meteoric career due to his early death. Cochran died aged 21 after a car accident, while travelling in a taxi in Chippenham, Wiltshire, UK in 1960. Cochran had appeared in the musical comedy film The Girl Can’t Help It playing his modified 1955 Gretsch 6120 with Gibson P90 pickup at the neck position. This film was an especially huge influence to British teens as they got to see and hear American Rock-n-Roll artists like Cochran, Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps, Little Richard and Fats Domino. Eddie performed the song “Twenty Flight Rock” that was later used by Paul McCartney to show his musical prowess to John Lennon when wanting to join the Quarryman (Lennon first group before the Beatles).

Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps with Cliff Gallup

Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps with Cliff Gallup

The movie’s influence on rock music is significant. The film reached Liverpool, England in the early summer of 1957. It fascinated a 16-year-old John Lennon by showing him, for the first time, his “worshiped” American rock ‘n’ roll stars as living humans and thus further inspiring him to pursue his own rock and roll dream. Paul McCartney talks about the movie in the documentary series The Beatles Anthology.

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Following in the footsteps of Eddie Cochran, many players also wanted a Gretsch 6120. Gene Vincent’s guitarist Cliff Gallup also played a Gretsch Duo Jet in the film. Gallup is considered the blueprint for rockabilly players. Jeff Beck cites Cliff Gallup as a huge influence after being the film.

Elvis with his Gretsch Country Gentleman

Elvis with his Gretsch Country Gentleman

This exposure gave Gretsch a nice boost. Elvis Presley owned a Gretsch Country Gentleman, playing it briefly both on stage and in the studio. Gretsch quickly became a legitimate competitor to both Gibson, Fender and Rickenbacker.

Gretsch Amp likely made by Valco

Gretsch Amp likely made by Valco

During the 1950s and 1960s, Gretsch also sold several different models of amplifiers badged with the Gretsch name to accompany its guitars. These were actually manufactured by Valco, and have become sought after objects of rarity in the years following Valco’s demise.

In the 1930s, Valco was formed by three business partners and former owners of the National Dobro Company; Victor Smith, Al Frost, and Louis Dopyera. The company name was a combination of the three partner’s first initials (V.A.L.) plus the common abbreviation for company. Valco manufactured guitars and vacuum tube amplifiers under a variety of brand names including Supro, Airline, Oahu, and National. They also made amplifiers under contract for several other companies such as Gretsch, Harmony, and Kay. In the 1960s they began producing solid body electric guitars. Valco merged with Kay Musical Instrument Company in 1967, however the merged company quickly went out of business in 1968 because of financial difficulties.

The Beatles

Early Picture of George Harrison playing his Gretsch Duo Jet

Early Picture of George Harrison playing his Gretsch Duo Jet

George Harrison bought a used ’57 Gretsch Duo Jet, from a sailor in Liverpool. This was George’s first Gretsch which he called, his “first good guitar.” “Beatlemania” was born in 1964 on The Ed Sullivan Show with George Harrison playing a Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman guitar. The next year, George Harrison added a Gretsch Tennessean to his guitar collection.

Beatles on Ed Sullivan 1964

Beatles on Ed Sullivan 1964

George played his Gretsch guitars on stage for the Beatles U.S. visits including the famous Shea Stadium (well-chronicled in the Beatles Anthology video and in the Beatles Gear book by Andy Babiuk) and Hollywood Bowl concerts.

George Harrison with his Gretsch Tennessean

George Harrison with his Gretsch Tennessean

John Lennon also owned a Gretsch

John Lennon also owned a Gretsch

The British Invasion brought further popularity and life at Gretsch was never the same! Gerry Marsden, the Animals, Brian Jones and Small Faces featuring Gretsch guitars.

1960s and 1970s Rock-n-Roll

In the 1960s, Gretschs were by Stephen Stills and Neil Young, who both played top-of-the-line White Falcon models on the Buffalo Springfield’s lone hit, “For What It’s Worth”. These guitars were particularly evident in the 1970 Crosby, Still, Nash and Young album, “Deja Vu.” as well.

1969 - Neil Young plays his vintage Gretsch White Falcon

1969 – Neil Young plays his vintage Gretsch White Falcon

Stephen Stills with Gretsch White Falcon

Stephen Stills with Gretsch White Falcon

David Crosby with the Byrds playing a White Falcon

David Crosby with the Byrds playing a White Falcon

Charlie Daniel's Gretsch guitar

Charlie Daniel’s Gretsch guitar

Even Pete Townshend played a 6120 1971 Who’s Next and 1973 Quadrophenia albums, including their hits, “Bargain”, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and “5:15”.

Pete Townsend with Gretsch guitar

Pete Townsend with Gretsch guitar

During the 1950s and 1960s, Gretsch also sold several different models of amplifiers badged with the Gretsch name to accompany its guitars. These were actually manufactured by Valco, and have become sought after objects of rarity in the years following Valco’s demise.

HiLoTrons pickups which are single-coil version of the Filter’Tron, without as much output, were introduced and fitted on Anniversaries, Tennesseans and Clippers around 1960. George Harrison’s Tennessean had these pickups and why it sounded different than is Gretsch Country Gentlemen.

Around 1961, Gretsch gave the Jet models double-cutaway bodies.

Mike Nesmith of the Monkees with his 12-string Gretsch guitar

Mike Nesmith of the Monkees with his 12-string Gretsch guitar

Mike Nesmith bought himself a Gretsch that he had converted into a twelve-string, and that is the guitar he used in the pilot episode of The Monkees. He was fond of the Gretsch sound even though Rickenbacker had ready made 12-string guitars. Gretsch eventually built Nesmith the famous blonde electric twelve-string that Nesmith used during the entire Monkees series, in the recording studio, and in concert.

Monkees with their Gretsch guitars

Monkees with their Gretsch guitars

From 1966 through 1968, Gretsch also produced the Gretsch 6123, which was a Monkees signature electric six-string guitar. However, since the Monkees’ target demographic was pre-teenage girls, the guitar (bright red in color, with a dubious “Monkees” logo on the pickguard) was not a great sales success, since few of these girls played guitar, and even fewer had the cash to cover the $469 price tag. These guitars however are collectable today.

Gretsch guitars even made an appearance on "I Dream of Jeannie" TV show

Gretsch guitars even made an appearance on “I Dream of Jeannie” TV show

Baldwin Era

Fred Gretsch, Jr. retired and sold Gretsch to Baldwin Music Company in 1967. Baldwin had originally looked to purchase Fender. When that fell through, they looked Gretsch, along with Burns, a much smaller London-based builder. His nephew, Fred W. Gretsch unhappy with the decision to sell, vows to buy the company back.

The Baldwin era was not very kind to the Gretsch brand. As solidbody guitars rose to prominence with louder rock, use of hollow body guitar fell in popularity. Gretsch was known as an electric hollow body company.

Interesting that a “Made in the USA” stamp first appears on the back of headstocks in 1967 mid-year as Gretsch was always a U.S. company. The guitars were made in Brooklyn. Likely Baldwin was trying to point this out as imports started flooding the guitar market.

Baldwin did try new models throughout the seventies while the old favorites were sill produced. Baldwin moved Gretsch drum & guitar production to Booneville, Ark in 1970. Many of the veteran Gretsch workers refused to move to Arkansas. So they really did not bring any of the factory workers from Brooklyn plant and just hired new people. Many who had no prior experience building guitars. Quality suffered. In 1972, Baldwin moved the Gretsch New York business offices to Chicago.

Gretsch under Baldwin’s reign has become a pale reflection of the glory years. There were even rumors of sabotage by disgruntled employees. Big corporate control in lowering quality, to save money for increased profits greatly cheapening some of Gretsch’s best-loved models and tarnished the brand.

In 1979, after Fred Jr’s death, Chet Atkins withdrew his endorsement in response to quality problems and Gretsch’s unwillingness to pursue his vision of a nylon-stringed electric guitar. Chet went on to an endorsement deal with Gibson with new Chet Atkins models including the nylon-string solid body he envisioned.

Two terrible factory fires caused serious problems. After the fires closed the factory, Baldwin tried to re-launch guitar production in Juarez, Mexico but it fails after only a handful of guitars are built. Baldwin shut down Gretsch guitar production for good in 1981.

The most collectible Gretsch guitars are mostly the models endorsed by Chet Atkins made from 1954 to 1961. It is not easy to find a vintage Gretsch in great condition and an affordable price. Many of these older hollow body guitars suffer from binding rot, need neck resets or cracks. Good vintage Gretsch guitars are wonderful instruments and fetch high prices.

Baldwin's Gretsch Committee guitar

Baldwin’s Gretsch Committee guitar

Baldwin-era guitars are not widely sought by collectors, many of them are nice guitars, that are often a bargain-price way to get a vintage Gretsch. Not all of the Baldwin ideas were bad; the 7686 Chet Atkins Super Axe, Atkins Axe and the Committee (named as it was designed by a committee) are the better examples for Baldwin’s efforts to introduce new models.

1980 Gretsch 7176 guitar and Gretsch branded amp

1980 Gretsch 7176 guitar and Gretsch branded amp

The Tennessean survived the “Baldwin Era” with the least amount of changes. There are some nice examples built after the 1967 sale. In 1972, real f-holes had reappeared, along with a new, more angular pickguard. Even the model number changed for no apparent reason. But they run cheaper than pre-Baldwin era guitars in the vintage market.

Gretsch Tennessean

Gretsch Tennessean

Much like the 1965 CBS acquisition of Fender and the 1969 Gibson buyout by Chicago Musical Instruments (and subsequent takeover by the South American brewing conglomerate ECL and then Norlin) which both led to a long but steady declines in quality, Baldwin clearly did not understand the complexities (or subtleties) of the guitar market. It was nothing at all like the piano market they knew. We guitar players are quite fickle.

Brian Setzer, Rockabilly and Gretsch Revival

Gretsch guitar enthusiast Brian Setzer and The Stray Cats reintroduce rockabilly by releasing their first U.S. single, “Rock This Town.” in 1982.

Brian Setzer with Gretsch 6120

Brian Setzer with Gretsch 6120

In the 1992 book, Guitars of the Fred Gretsch Company by Jay Scott, Setzer writes, “As I passed over the Williamsburg Bridge from Long Island into Manhattan, I spied the old Gretsch building over my shoulder. A funny thought suddenly struck me. How odd that these Country Western rockabilly twangers, probably Texas bound on some freight train, should be designed, assembled and born right in New York City. What a perfect paradox!”

Brian Setzer is playing old vintage Gretsch 6120 that creates an renewed interest with younger players. The group also features Slim Jim Phantom on Gretsch drums. Gretsch brand is re-discovered… BUT only vintage models exist. Prices of vintage Gretsch guitar begin to rise.

George Harrison Cloud 9

George Harrison Cloud 9

George Harrison helps Gretsch again. The cover art for Harrison’s Cloud Nine, recorded and released in 1987, features Harrison’s first American-made guitar, his famous 1957 Gretsch 6128 Duo-Jet, that he purchased in Liverpool in 1961. Harrison called it his “old black Gretsch”. Harrison gave the guitar to his longtime friend, Klaus Voormann who kept it for 20 years. The guitar had been left in Los Angeles and had been modified, Harrison asked for the return of the guitar, which he restored and used for the cover shoot. Another boost for the Gretsch brand.

Gretsch Buys Gretsch

In 1989, Fred Gretsch, nephew of Fred Jr., and his wife Dinah, acquired their namesake company. George Harrison and old Gretsch buddy helps yet again, as the first new model introduced was the unique Traveling Wilbury’s model. An Asian import, which looked more like a Danelectro then a Gretsch guitar. The Traveling Wilbury’s model did not do much for Gretsch’s damaged reputation for producing great classic guitars. They did help serve notice that the Gretsch brand was back and provided a much-needed cash infusion, allowing Fred to begin Gretsch production on a larger scale in 1989.

Traveling Wilburys guitar made by Gretsch

Traveling Wilburys guitar made by Gretsch

After numerous failures to acquire facilities or contract out production in the United States, Fred Gretsch and long-time Gretsch employee Duke Kramer, turned to Terada of Japan. Modern Gretsch production began with a range of reissues using a mixture of American and European parts. They were of generally high quality guitars, but with several non-vintage details and features.

Newer alternative rock guitarists in the 1980s helped Gretsch get back in the groove. Those funky Gretsch models were starting to be seen in music videos and on stages. The Brian Setzer signature guitar model production began in 1993.

In 1998, Gretsch announced budget-priced “Electromatic,” “Synchromatic” and “Historic” guitar lines manufactured in Korea.

Brian Setzer Hot Rod Gretsch makes a surprise debut on the December 21, 1998 Tonight Show on NBC. They were supposed to be unveiled a few weeks later at winter NAMM, but Setzer gave a rousing version of Jingle Bells on the show with the new models.

Gretsch offered a “custom” line of American-made guitars in 1998 and 1999, but prices were astronomically high and very few sold.

In 2000, Kaman Music becomes exclusive Gretsch drums worldwide distributor. The Elliot Easton Signature DuoJet introduced.

Gretsch Buys Bigsby

In 1999, Gretsch purchased Bigsby Accessories from owner and former Gibson CEO Ted McCarty. Since Gretsch had become known as sporting a Bigsby on so many of their classic models this of course made great sense. Bo Diddley signature rectangular guitar re-introduced same year.

Bigsby-Vibratos

Gretsch was back making guitars in Japan and importing them to U.S. Quality was up and interest was growing. Fred Gretsch next move proved to be a good one.

FMIC era

Fred Gretsch makes deal with Fender Musical Instruments Corporation for exclusive rights to develop, produce, market and distribute Gretsch guitars worldwide in 2002. The Gretsch family however still owns and controls the brand.

Fender quickly improved the Gretsch line by upgrading substandard electrical components and bringing modern production more closely in line with designs and practices of the classic era. Body and headstock shapes, which on reissues from the 1990s and early 2000s had varied a bit from 1950s-1960s models. Fender helped make them more vintage-correct. Hollow bodies were returned to 3-ply construction rather than the 5-plies of the 1990–2002 period. Filtertron double-coil pickups were redesigned by TV Jones (Brian Setzer’s early guitar tech) to sound more like vintage pickups. Duo Jets were more extensively chambered in accordance with vintage practice.

Gretsch 7838 from the Custom Shop created by Steven Stern

Gretsch 7838 from the Custom Shop created by Steven Stern

Gretsch Professional Series Guitars are still made in Japan, but are more vintage correct and are of excellent quality. Fender opened a Gretsch Custom Shop run by Steven Stern, for custom U.S. made Gretsch guitars. They are higher priced and most anything can be built for the Gretsch player.

Gretsch also has a Korean-built Electromatic Hollow line so they can compete in the mid-price range. FMIC has refined and improved the mid-priced Electromatic line by discontinuing the low-end bolt-neck models of the late 1990s and early 2000s, which incorporated generic humbucking pickups and wraparound bridges.

The Electromatic Hollowbody line has been very successful, from the 5125–5129 series with its US-made DeArmond 2000 pickups, and the similar 5120 series. The 5120, a single-cutaway model inspired by the 6120, has become the best-selling guitar in Gretsch history, with an active after-market in replacement pickups from TV Jones and other makers for players who feel they provide a more characteristic tone than the stock “Gretschbucker” double-coil pickups. The double-cutaway 5122 model, introduced in 2008, and inspired by the 6122 Country Gentleman, fills out the Korean-built Electromatic Hollow line.

In January 2007, with a new agreement of the Atkins family, Gretsch announced the return of Chet Atkins as an endorser. The Country Classic models became Country Gentlemen once again. The name “Chet Atkins Hollowbody” returned to the 6120 Nashvilles, and the Tennessee Rose became the “Chet Atkins Tennessee Rose”. In July 2008, a limited run of Chet Atkins 6120 Stereo guitars was introduced. This model was based upon a famous prototype from 1956, which featured in several landmark Atkins recordings, but was never produced in quantity. This brought Gretsch full circle.

Gretsch Country Gentleman

Gretsch Country Gentleman

Gretsch celebrates its 125th Anniversary with a few special models; the 6118-T 125th Anniversary, the 6118-T-LTV 125th Anniversary (with special Jaguar Tan lacquer finish and TV Jones PowerTrons) and a very limited edition 6120 finished in gold leaf. Note that all 2008 guitars had “125th Anniversary” badge attached. This does not make them Anniversary models, it makes them 2008 models.

George Harrison Signature Gretsch G6128T-GH Duo Jet

George Harrison Signature Gretsch G6128T-GH Duo Jet

2011 was a good year for Gretsch, with the George Harrison DuoJets unveiled. Duane Eddy gets an all-new Eddy Signature model. Gretsch opened the Chet Atkins Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee. Gretsch releases the limited edition Gretsch 6122-1959 Chet Atkins Hall of Fame Country Gentleman in western amber flamed maple.

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2012 New Brooklyn drum series, Rancher Acoustics, and Roots Collection introduced.

Gretsch Rancher similar to one used by the Blue Caps in the Girl Can't help It movie

Gretsch Rancher similar to one used by the Blue Caps in the Girl Can’t help It movie

2013 Gretsch celebrates 130th Anniversary. Iconic Round Badge returns to Gretsch Drums.

Gretsch Amp made by Fender

Gretsch Amp made by Fender

Since the FMIC takeover, Fender also issued the first Gretsch-badged amplifier since the days of Valco. The Gretsch G5222 Electromatic amp was essentially a redressed version of the Fender Champion 600 reissue with different covering and grill material.

Gretsch G6120 TM Chet Akins and Gretsch G6120 Reverend Horton Heat Models

Gretsch G6120 TM Chet Akins and Gretsch G6120 Reverend Horton Heat Models

Gretsch has introduced new models consistent with its heritage but aimed at modern players. These new models feature a “center-block” of wood to reduce feedback at higher volumes. The trestle bracing of the 1959–1961 era was also re-introduced on the Setzer line and other selected models.

Gretsch made a remarkable comeback from complete ruins. They are making great guitars these days based on original designs as well as innovating with new ideas. The cool colors, western motifs, twangy sound, funky designs and even Chet Akins endorsement are ALL back.

The famous Gretsch users ranging from Bono of U2 and Malcolm Young of AC/DC, to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the White Stripes. Randy Bachman of Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive as long been a Gretsch player and collector.

Several rare and one-of-a-kind vintage Gretsch guitars from the 1960s on display at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum - Bachman Collection

Several rare and one-of-a-kind vintage Gretsch guitars from the 1960s on display at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum – Bachman Collection

They can say again “The Great Gretsch Sound!” Gretsch is a famous an American musical icon for giving Rockabilly a tone and Rock n’ Roll a beat.