Any anniversary celebration is special. But when it’s a double anniversary, that’s extra-special. And when one of those anniversaries marks 130 years…well, that’s unique.
So it was with the Gretsch 130th Anniversary celebration, which was held this past May 4 at Randy Wood’s Pickin’ Parlor in Bloomingdale, Georgia. The location was appropriate, since Bloomingdale is just “down the road a bit” from Pooler, which is where my wife Dinah and I reside. And the Gretsch USA Custom Drums factory is located just across the river, in Ridgeland, South Carolina.
The setting for the event had a somewhat rural... Read More
Fred Gretsch Brings History to The 20thAnnual Chicago Drum Show
May 25, 2010
Fourth-Generation Drum Maker Offers The Story of Gretsch Drums
Savannah, GA—Fred W. Gretsch, president of the Gretsch Company, recently appeared at the 20th annual Chicago Drum Show. America’s premier vintage and custom drum event, the show was held this past May 15 and 16 at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St Charles, Illinois. A tremendous turnout of avid drum buffs made this anniversary edition of the Chicago Show particularly noteworthy.
Fred Gretsch was the perfect candidate to offer historical presentations at the Chicago Show, since as the fourth generation of Gretsch drum makers he personally embodies a major part of American drum-making history. He also holds the enviable position of being the only man in America still actively involved with the drums that have born his family name for 127 years. Fred gave a presentation on Saturday, May 15 that went out live on the DrummerCafe web site. He also conducted a master class on Sunday, May 16. Joining Fred for his presentations was John Palmer, Gretsch Drum Manager for KMC Music, which distributes Gretsch drums world-wide.
Also appearing for Gretsch was talented young artist-endorser Hannah Ford. A native of the Chicago area, Hannah has made a name for herself as both a performing artist and an exciting clinician. Hannah wowed those in attendance with her combination of fiery rock chops and solid grooves.
The Chicago Drum Show also featured a display of Gretsch drums. These included three beautiful USA Custom Special Edition kits and several Special Edition snare drums, each hand-crafted in the Gretsch factory in Ridgeland, South Carolina.
The Gretsch family dynasty began in 1883, when a young German immigrant named Friedrich Gretsch founded a little shop in Brooklyn, New York. From that day to this, the Gretsch family has focused on making drums that offer unrivaled sound and uncompromising construction quality. Blending an emphasis on hand-craftsmanship with constant innovation, Gretsch has pioneered new drum designs and manufacturing techniques for well over a century. These include the first ply drumshells and the use of die-cast hoops.
Today, Gretsch drums are the preferred instruments of drummers looking for unique tonal quality and hand-made craftsmanship. So it’s not surprising that Fred W. Gretsch’s presentations at the Chicago Drum Show proved fascinating and informative to all in attendance. Fred celebrated four generations of family and musical history, as well as offering a look forward to the next 125 years of “That Great Gretsch Sound!”
Gretsch USA Custom
Hand-crafted every step of the way
The epitome and legend of "That Great Gretsch Sound." The USA Custom series is hand-crafted every step of the way in our Ridgeland, SC factory by highly experienced and skilled drumsmiths. Our legendary Gretsch formula 6-ply shell is the cornerstone of our legendary sound. Shells are completed with 30-degree bearing edges, Silver Sealer, die-cast hoops and custom finishes - ingredients all combined to make a sound long recognized for its classic clear timbre, balanced tone and explosive projection. Custom design your Gretsch dream kit "a la cart" by choosing your desired drum sizes, colors and hardware options. The Gretsch legend continues.
The NEW Gretsch USA Custom Order Guide will explain the many options that are available to help you design a drum set that matches your individual voice as a drummer.
Carefully developed to produce tones that explode a balanced amount of warm low end frequencies
The Catalina Maple series starts with the Gretsch maple formula shell. We carefully developed the maple shell specification to produce tones that explode with attack and volume and project a balanced amount of warm, low-end frequencies. All Catalina Maple shells are 7-ply, 7.2mm.
The Catalina Maples are available in two configurations - a 6-piece shell pack set and a 5-piece shell pack set. Add-on drums are also available to allow for further drum set expansion.