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The Round Badge Stories





In 1883, Friedrich Gretsch opened a small music shop in Brooklyn, New York. As American music like big band, bebop jazz, and rock n’ roll exploded in the next century, the round badge of Gretsch Drums became an iconic symbol of popular culture and “That Great Gretsch Sound” became the backbeat for popular music. What exactly is the ‘Great’ in Gretsch Drums?

From the start, it was personal to the Gretsch family. “My grandfather, Fred Gretsch Jr, gave me the spirit of this business at a young age in the 1950s,” says Fred Gretsch III. The company found a signature shell formula early on and, note by note, improved upon it as bebop jazz rose up around them in the cradle of New York City. Gretsch struck partnerships with countless legendary 20th century artists of cementing the brand’s position in American lore. “These drums have life in them,” says Cindy Blackman-Santana.

The Round Badge Stories investigates the mystique of Gretsch Drums with performances, interviews, and stories from artists, industry figures, and the Gretsch family. Take the journey with us to learn how and why the signature sound, feel, and spirit of Gretsch Drums has inspired such passionate loyalty from musicians that endures today.


Film Credits


Narrated by: Vinnie Colaiuta


Artist Appearances:

Cindy Blackman Santana
Keith Carlock
Mark Guiliana
Stanton Moore
Andrew Marshall
Jason McGerr
Connor Denis
Ben Thatcher
Ash Soan
Chris Kimmerer
Will Calhoun
Mark Schulman
Seth Rausch
Mike Johnston
Terence Clark
Steve Ferrone



Fred Gretsch
Dinah Gretsch
Don McAuley
Stan Keyawa
Jerry Keyawa
Steve Maxwell
Shane Kinney
Harry McCarthy
Marshall Bolton
Clay Fuqua
James Varner


Directed by: Andrew Shreve

Produced by: Andrew Shreve & Ryan Poyer

Executive Producer: Matt Wechsler

Art Director: Jeff Ivester

Written By: Nate Duchene

Editor: Ryan Poyer

Director of Photography and Sound: Chris Lawson

Cinematographer: Blake Ehoff

UK Filming Supervisor: David Phillips

UK Cinematographer: Sam Bland

Score By: Mark Guiliana

Historical Archive Consultant: Lucas O’Connor