About Gretsch Guitars:
Gretsch Guitars was founded in 1883 when a young German immigrant, Friedrich Gretsch, opened a music instrument shop in Brooklyn, N.Y. The company originally built banjos, tambourines, and drums before launching into the luthier craft. Gretsch's first models were acoustic archtop guitars aimed at jazz musicians and flattop guitars for country-western performers.
The first Gretsch electric guitar hit the market in the mid 1950s—marking the start of the golden years with their iconic 6120 and White Falcon models. When country guitar virtuoso Chet Atkins chose to join Gretsch Guitars as an endorser, the company began competing with better-known guitar makers. Thousands of the 6120 Chet Atkins guitar model were sold, including one to rocker Duane Eddy. The Country Gentleman and a budget-friendly version, the Tennessean, were other popular Chet Atkins guitar models. Read More>
Elvis Presley owned a Country Gentleman guitar that he played both onstage and in the studio. In the mid 1960s, Duane Eddy's trademark twang helped expose Gretsch guitars to rock 'n' rollers. George Harrison played a Country Gentleman electric guitar on TV and was also known to have a Tennessean. John Lennon briefly played an orange Nashville 6120 electric guitar. In the mid '60s, Gretsch instruments used on The Monkees TV show helped to promote the brand.
Gretsch Guitars became a subsidiary of the Baldwin Piano Company in the late 1960s. After a series of mishaps, from factory fires to mismanagement, guitar production halted in 1981.
Luckily, the Gretsch family reacquired the company in 1985. Led by Frederick Gretsch III, the brand rebuilt its luster. In 2002, Gretsch and Fender
reached an agreement giving Fender control over production and distribution of guitars and basses.
A long-time fan of the Gretsch Guitar sound, Brian Setzer searched out classic guitars on the used market after production had stopped. Setzer was such an avid fan that the company named several models in Setzer's honor. Today, you can get a Brian Setzer Signature Nashville electric guitar, a Brian Setzer Hot Rod, or a Brian Setzer Black Phoenix. Gretsch has collaborated with more artists to produce other signature models including the Patrick Vaughn Stump Signature Gretsch STUMP-O-MATIC Electromatic Corvette Guitar and the Tim Armstrong Signature Hollowbody Left-Handed Guitar, two stylish sonic monsters.
Other Gretsch guitarists include notables like Lou Reed, Brian Jones, Pete Townshend, Joe Walsh, Neil Young, Bo Diddley, Bono, David Crosby, Billy Gibbons, David Gilmour, Rory Gallagher, Jeff Beck, Roy Orbison, Joe Perry, Tom Petty, Slash, Stephen Stills, Malcolm Young, Dave Grohl, Jack White, and many others.
Today Gretsch Guitars makes accurate re-creations of many of the classic Gretsch models that contributed so much to the sounds fans love. The budget-friendly Electromatic series gives you a whole lot of electric guitar, bass, or amplifier for a small outlay of cash. Gretsch also offers their Rancher line of flattop acoustic-electric guitars that come in dreadnought, jumbo, and junior configurations.