From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gretsch Drums is a leading drum manufacturing company, based in Ridgeland, South Carolina. Their motto is "That Great Gretsch Sound!"

Gretsch was founded by Friedrich Gretsch, a German immigrant who opened 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 teenager. He expanded the business moving it to a new 10 story building on 60 Broadway Street. Fred Gretsch Sr. handed over the family business to his son, Fred Gretsch Jr., after retiring in 1942. Soon after taking over, Fred Jr. left to serve in WWII as a Naval commander, leaving the business in the hands of his younger brother, William "Bill" Gretsch. Bill Gretsch passed away 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 it's 100th anniversary with a line of limited edition drums with a special finish and "centennial" badges signed by Mr. Roy. In 1985 The Gretsch company 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 own the company to this day (2008). In the late 1980s Gretsch bought the remnants of the Slingerland Drum company which was later sold to Gibson (Gretsch retained 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 drums since that time. Today, Gretsch's top of the line drums (USA Custom & Signature Series) are manufactured in Ridgeland, South Carolina.[1] 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.

Sponsored Links