Gretsch Celebrating 135 Years as a Family-Owned Manufacturer in 2018

The year 2018 will be an especially busy one for the Gretsch family as they celebrate 135 years of being a leading guitar and drum manufacturer with customers, fans, business partners, and artists.“We’re one of the few remaining musical instrument manufacturers that is still family owned,” says current president, Fred Gretsch. “I’m the fourth generation and am delighted to have the fifth and sixth generations of family members involved in the business my great-grandfather started in 1883. He would be proud that his entrepreneurial gene continues to be passed down to each generation.”

Dinah Gretsch, Executive VP and Chief Financial Officer, also adds, “Just like our milestone anniversaries of the past, the Gretsch Company’s 135th will be chocked full of fun ways to celebrate our family, our history, our relationships, and the pride we have of being in business for 135 years.”

A special, full-colour 135th Anniversary Gretsch history poster and House Telegram newsletter have been produced, and a 135th Anniversary page will be featured on the newly refreshed

This month’s 2018 NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA will kick off the 135th Anniversary celebration with Fred and Dinah, along with several generations of family members, attending and being visible in the Gretsch Guitar, Gretsch Drum, and Bigsby booths.

Lena Thomas, the Gretsch’s daughter who has worked at the Gretsch Company for 23 years, will be attending the NAMM Show along with her son, Logan, a high school senior who has attended many industry events with his grandparents. Another sixth generation grandson, Daniel Gretsch, a student at Georgia Tech, will also be attending.

Nephew Lucas O’ Connor, another 5th general Gretsch family member, will fly in from Denmark to attend the 2018 NAMM Show. O’Connor, who lives in Copenhagen and owns an IT brokerage business, is an accomplished drummer and drum enthusiast. Fluent in several languages, O’Connor will be giving interviews for Gretsch in German, Danish, and English.

“Although 2018 will be about celebrating family, friends, and relationships. I also want to recognize the important contributions Dinah has made to the Gretsch Company,” shared Fred. “She played a big role in bringing back Gretsch guitars.

Gretsch also praised the high quality and craftsmanship of the current line of Gretsch guitars and fretted instruments. For 16 years, the Gretsch Company has had a special alliance with Fender Musical Instrument Corporation, which is responsible for manufacturing, marketing, and distributing Gretsch guitars worldwide.

“Today’s Gretsch guitars are the finest and most consistently built guitars in our 135-year history,” added Fred.  “The recipes my father, uncle, grandfather, and great-grandfather used in creating “That Great Gretsch Sound” generations ago are still used today. This is truly the second Golden Age for Gretsch guitars.”

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Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician, Canadian Music Trade, Professional Sound, and Professional Lighting & Production magazines. He also hosts the Canadian Musician Podcast.
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