From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Industry Percussion instrument manufacturing company
Headquarters Ridgeland, South Carolina,
Key people Friedrich Gretsch,
Friedrich Gretsch Jr.
Gretsch Drums is a leading drum manufacturing company, based in Ridgeland, South Carolina. Their motto is"That Great Gretsch Sound!"
2 Drumset Lineup
2.1 Current Gretsch Products
2.2 Signature Series
2.3 Special Edition Series
2.4 Discontinued Gretsch Products (partial list)
3.1 Current Gibraltar Products
4 Badge History
6 See also
7 External links
Gretsch was founded by Friedrich Gretsch, a German immigrant whoopened his own musical instrument business based in Brooklyn, New York in 1883.
After Friedrich's sudden death in 1895, his enterprising son, Fred Gretsch Sr., took over the business as a teenager. He expanded the business, moving it to a new ten-story building at 60 Broadway Street.
Fred Gretsch Sr. handed over the family business to his son, Fred Gretsch Jr., after retiring in 1942. Soon aftertaking over, Fred Jr. left to serve in WWII as a Navy commander, leaving the business in the hands of his younger brother, William "Bill" Gretsch. Bill Gretsch died in 1948 and the company was again run by Fred Jr.
Fred Gretsch Jr. ran the company until 1967 when Gretsch was sold to Baldwin Piano Co. In the early 70's Baldwin moved drum production from Brooklyn, NY to a plant in Arkansas. In 1982,the company was bought by Kustom under the management of Charlie Roy. In 1983 the company celebrated its 100th anniversary with a line of limited edition drums with a special finish and "centennial" badges signed by Mr. Roy.
In 1985, Gretsch was bought back by a member of the Gretsch family, Fred Gretsch III (the son of the late William "Bill" Gretsch, and nephew of Fred Jr.), who continues to ownthe company to this day (2008).
In the late 1980s, Gretsch bought the remnants of the Slingerland Drum Company, which was later sold to Gibson, with Gretsch retaining the Leedy brand which had been part of the Slingerland purchase. In 2000, Gretsch signed a distribution deal with Kaman to distribute Gretsch drums and this partnership has resulted in a much higher visibility of Gretsch brand drumssince that time.
In February 2007, Kaman purchased the right to manufacture Gretsch USA Custom and Signature drums. They also purchased the majority of the equipment used to make Gretsch drums. They now lease space from Fred Gretsch in his Ridgeland building. The drums are being made by the same people that have worked there for the last 10–15 years.
Today, Gretsch's top of the line drums (USACustom & Signature Series) are manufactured in Ridgeland, South Carolina. while other less expensive lines are imported by Kaman from Asian-based drum plants.
More recently, Gretsch has begun sponsoring drummers that are seen as talented. Fred Gretsch has begun signing drummers of all styles to endorse Gretsch drums while on tour. Since 2002 more than 200 drummers have been signed.Drumset Lineup
Current Gretsch Products
Blackhawk - Entry level drum set made of 6-ply Basswood/Poplar shells.
Blackhawk H3 - The Blackhawk H3 drum pack pairs the popular Gretsch Blackhawk kit with premium cymbals and hardware for the ultimate complete package.
Renegade - Gretsch Renegade series is a complete drum set package designed specifically for the entry-level drummer and packedwith value. Toms have “quick” sizes, which provide punchy tones and allow for lower positioning.
Energy - New for 2011, the Gretsch Energy drum set package comes complete with hardware and Sabian SBR cymbals. The Gretsch Energy series is perfect for the first time buyer and packed with features that are found on semi-pro drum sets, including non-drilled bass drum.
Catalina Club Rock - Gretsch’s...