“We see it as a commitment to serving musicians, music lovers, artists and fans. That’s the Gretsch religion”: Fred W. Gretsch tells the remarkable inside story of the family behind one of electric guitar’s oldest names

1968 Gretsch 6117 Anniversary Streamliner
(Image credit: Future)

This year marks the 140th Anniversary of Gretsch. Fred W Gretsch started out in the business as the jazz years of the 1950s erupted into rock ’n’ roll uproar in the ’60s. 

Much later, he guided the company back to prosperity as an electric guitar producer after the difficult Baldwin-owned years. Who better, then, to tell the inside story of how the company revolutionized guitar?

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Jamie Dickson

Jamie Dickson is Editor-in-Chief of Guitarist magazine, Britain's best-selling and longest-running monthly for guitar players. He started his career at the Daily Telegraph in London, where his first assignment was interviewing blue-eyed soul legend Robert Palmer, going on to become a full-time author on music, writing for benchmark references such as 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and Dorling Kindersley's How To Play Guitar Step By Step. He joined Guitarist in 2011 and since then it has been his privilege to interview everyone from B.B. King to St. Vincent for Guitarist's readers, while sharing insights into scores of historic guitars, from Rory Gallagher's '61 Strat to the first Martin D-28 ever made.