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  #1  
Old 05-16-2009, 04:40 PM
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Der Trommler Der Trommler is offline
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The history of Gretsch drums


The history of Gretsch is interesting as they are one of the oldest drum makers.

Quote:
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, 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.

Badge History
  • 1883 to 1971 - The original Gretsch Round Badge design. This was the first badge used on Gretsch drums going all the way back to 1883. The badge was round with GRETSCH written across the top and DRUM MAKERS SINCE 1883 along the bottom. The Round Badge was attached to snare drums and bass drums using a standard brass grommet which also provided a vent-hole for the drum, but it was attached to tom-toms using a carpenter's upholstery tack which therefore left those drums unvented. Final production of Gretsch drums with the Round Badge was in 1971.
  • 1971 to 1979 - The next badge design for Gretsch was an octagon-shaped badge. This brass badge had the GRETSCH logo written in block type with an elongated letter "T" in the middle of the Gretsch name. On the right side of the brass grommet, the word DRUMS appears in block letters. To the left, the initials U.S.A. appear in block letters. The bottom section of the badge reads "THAT GREAT GRETSCH SOUND". Final production of Gretsch Drums with this badge was in mid-1979. This is the only badge to carry the famous "Great Gretsch Sound" tag line.
  • 1979 to 1980 - The second version of the octagon badge went into production in late 1979. This badge is very similar to the previous badge but the tag line on the bottom was changed back to "DRUM MAKERS SINCE 1883" in block letters.
  • 1980 - A brief glimpse into the modern day drum badge. In 1980, due to the popularity of multiple-tom outfits, the badge was changed to a square shape with the corners cropped. This would allow the badge to look the same no matter which way the tom was mounted. The brass badge had the GRETSCH logo in block letters above the grommet. The GRETSCH logo below the grommet was placed upside down to allow for the varied positioning of the toms. U.S.A. was on the left and right side of the grommet with the left U.S.A. letters upside down. This badge would be used in 1980 and then shelved for a brief period of time before it was brought back into production.
  • Early 1981 - A short return to the octagon badge. This time the brass badge was redesigned with the GRETSCH logo in the drop "G" font above the grommet. U.S.A. appeared to the right of the grommet and DRUM MAKERS SINCE 1983 was at the bottom of this badge in block letters.
  • Late 1981 to Modern Day - Back to the square badge design. By late 1981, the brass square badge had returned and is still being used on Gretsch Custom Drums today.
  • 100th Anniversary Badge This special badge was used in 1983 on a limited production of exotic wood grain kits with all gold hardware. Only 100 sets in these special finishes were produced. The badge was a large upright rectangle with the corners cropped. The Gretsch logo features the drop "G" logo style and the badge reads "THE CENTENNIAL 1883-1983" along the top in block letters.
  • 120th Anniversary Round Badge

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  #2  
Old 06-01-2009, 03:49 PM
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Re: The history of Gretsch drums


If you want to know more about Gretsch Drums, go to this site: Welcome to Gretsch Drums

  #3  
Old 06-01-2009, 09:58 PM
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Re: The history of Gretsch drums


Hey tainojim,
I have a link to Gretsch drums.com
on my tool bar.
My whole tool bar is on drums!

  #4  
Old 06-01-2009, 10:01 PM
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Re: The history of Gretsch drums


I love Gretsch drums!
I sent a business letter to Gretsch drums last month on the 22nd
I sent it out recently.
It complimented them on everything!
I just love that Great Gretsch Sound!

  #5  
Old 06-02-2009, 10:49 AM
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Re: The history of Gretsch drums


Quote:
Originally Posted by Infero Exicution View Post
Hey tainojim,
I have a link to Gretsch drums.com
on my tool bar.
My whole tool bar is on drums!
Now that is a good thing. Have you gotten your Gretsch kit yet? Forget about the Ludwig, save your money and get a better kit. The time you wait will be worth it. Remember, you get what you pay for and when it comes to drums, it's an investment that you'll have for a long time. You might be disapointed if you get that Ludwig with extra hardware. And cymbals not included. This should really be posted on that other thread.

Last edited by Tainojim; 06-03-2009 at 10:40 AM..

  #6  
Old 06-02-2009, 04:27 PM
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Infero Exicution Infero Exicution is offline
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Re: The history of Gretsch drums


I know!
Gretsch is amazing!
I'm waiting for the Gretsch set.
I'm now waiting on the responce on that business letter I sent to them.
It's going to have 5 cymbals total( the set.)
I can't wait!!!

  #7  
Old 06-05-2009, 03:50 PM
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Re: The history of Gretsch drums


IE, which branch of Gretsch did you write to. There are a few buissnes offices.

  #8  
Old 06-05-2009, 04:31 PM
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Re: The history of Gretsch drums


I wrote to
Gretsch drums offices in I think
it was Goregia.
I can'y remember where i found the address though.

  #9  
Old 06-22-2009, 03:25 PM
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Re: The history of Gretsch drums


I think I changed my mind over to the Gretsch Catalina Ash
shell pack.
It fits my experience better.

  #10  
Old 07-11-2009, 05:22 AM
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Re: The history of Gretsch drums


I bought a 4 piece shell pack of gretsch renowns in the african mahogany series. They only made 120 sets a couple of years or so ago. They're pretty sweet, especially the bass drum. 24x16, 13x9, 16x16 and 14x6.5 snare. I don't use the snare. Its to soft for my taste. I play a 14x7 steambent in its place. It'll peel the paint off the wall if you don't muffle it! Can't wait to play it outside wide open! Does anybody own one of these kits? String.

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