Gretsch, known for their high quality electric guitars and drum kits, is a US-based musical instrument manufacturer. Their guitars are distributed by the famed Fender Musical Instruments, and the drums are distributed by drum-maker Kaman.
Most experts and vintage guitar aficionados agree that Gretsch’s best years began in the mid 50’s after Fred Gretsch, Jr. (grandson of the company’s founder) took control of the company. During this period, Gretsch introduced such famed models as the 6120 Nashville, the White Falcon, the Country Club, and the Duo Jet.
The largest single contribution to Gretsch’s popularity and success in the 1950’s was Chet Atkins, who was an endorser of several models. At the time, Atkins had become widely renowned for his guitar skills, and his endorsement allowed Gretsch to compete more actively against Gibson and Fender. Gretsch released a Chet Atkins model (the 6120), which sold tremendously well, especially after Duane Eddy helped popularize the model even further and helped make Gretsch synonymous with “twang.” Eddie Cochran and George Harrison helped popularize the company’s guitars even more as did the Monkees’ Mike Nesmith, who was fascinated with the guitars.
Despite a low point when the company was owned by Baldwin, Gretsch guitars have always had a loyal following, with everyone from Dave Grohl to Brian Setzer to Malcolm Young embracing the instruments.
Some of their most popular models include the G5120, the Duo Jet, the Country Gentleman, the Tennessean, the White Falcon, and the numerous Chet Atkins models.