The Gretsch-American Drum Team Continues a Long Held Family Tradition
Drum Series Seventy-Fifth Anniversary
The Gretsch Drum Company is one of the oldest music companies in America and has been manufacturing high-quality drums by hand with the best materials available since 1883. Drum innovations and product development “firsts” are also a rich part of Gretsch’s long musical history.
Fred Gretsch Sr In the early 1920’s, under the visionary leadership of Fred Gretsch, Sr., the son of founder Friedrich Gretsch, the Brooklyn-based Gretsch Company developed and perfected the multi ply drum lamination process. This revolutionary new construction method had tremendous advantages over the then-current method of steam bending wood. Drum shells and hoops were not only lighter, but were more perfectly round and stronger. In fact, Gretsch was the first drum company to guarantee their hoops and shells to hold their perfect round and not warp.
In the late 1930’s, the innovative Gretsch-Gladstone drums incorporated the patented 3-way tension device for tuning both drum heads, plus the perfected snare control and fingertip tone regulator devices. In the late 1940’s, Gretsch constructed the first double bass kit drum set for the legendary Louie Bellson and the first small (20″) bass drum for Davey Tough. Other Gretsch firsts include the “all-height” shell-mounted cymbal holder, disappearing bass drum spurs, a three-position bass drum tone control, and the first drum factory to convert to chrome plating exclusively for metal parts.
“I’m delighted to release this 75th Anniversary line of GRETSCH-AMERICAN drums.” said Fred Gretsch, President of The Gretsch Company. “This is not only a fitting tribute to my grandfather, Fred Gretsch, Sr., and the drum innovation legacy he left behind, but it’s also a tribute to the American worker and the patriotic spirit and renewed pride in our nation we seem to have rediscovered.”
Although Brooklyn, N.Y. is where the Gretsch Company was founded and manufactured drums, guitars, and other instruments for over eighty years, today’s Gretsch drums are hand crafted at their Ridgeland, South Carolina production facility. Gretsch still uses the same tooling procedures, molds, processes, and quality materials used during Gretsch’s golden years of drum manufacturing in the 1930’s – 1950’s.