Gretsch Guitars - A brief history and popular models
Many Gretsch guitars are collectible and in our opinion they have a high "coolness" factor. We prefer Gretsch archtops. Gretsch was founded by Fred Gretsch in New York in 1883. Gretsch acoustic guitars first appeared in 1930's The first successful post war Gretsch was the Electromatic Spanish guitar in 1949. This was a revival of an earlier pre-war electric sold by Gretsch buy actually made by Kay. In 1953 Gretsch released their first solidbody single cut electric, the Duo Jet. In 1954 and 1955 several more electric models were released including the country oriented Round up. Around 1954, Gretsch followed Gibson's Lead (Les Paul) by signing Chet Atkins, a well know artist to endorse Gretsch guitars. The Gretsch semi-hollow body Chet Atkins model 6120 was the first in a series of Chet Atkins inspired guitars. 1955 saw the arrival of the White Falcon, their high end electric. The guitar featured gold plated metal work, deluxe grover imperial tuners and a newly designed tailpiece. The 6122 or "Country Gentlemen", a 2 pickup archtop was launched in 1957. Some Gretsch body designs changed to a smooth double cut look in the early 60's. Gretsch continued to introduce new guitars in the 60's some of which are below. In 1967 Gretsch was sold to Baldwin and remained a Baldwin company until approximately 1985 when it was taken private by the Gretsch family once again. Gretsch continues to manufacture a wide range of guitars preferred by rockabilly and county artists.