500 S Arthur Ave, Suite 700, Louisville, CO 80027
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Store Hours MST: 8am – 6pm Mon – Fri
10am – 6pm Saturday
Closed Sunday

Showroom Temporarily Closed


The Great Gretsch Sound

Perhaps because of his youth, Fred Gretsch Sr. was quite tapped into popular music. He foresaw that the guitar would become the focal point of American musical culture, so he started making archtops for jazz musicians and flat-top acoustics for country-and-western performers. He also dabbled with electric lap steels during the Hawaiian music craze before retiring and leaving the company to his sons William and Fred Jr.

After Fred Jr. completed his service as a Navy commander in World War II, things really took off for Gretsch. Again, the Gretsches recognized that electric guitars were the future of American music, and they decided to ride the wave. During the era of big cars with big fins and bigger engines, Gretsch guitars fit right in. They came in all sorts of flashy custom colors, and they came equipped with gizmos and gadgets that appealed to forward-thinking guitarists. It also didn’t hurt that Duane Eddy, Chet Atkins, and Eddie Cochrane–three of the most popular players of the time–were Gretsch endorsees. Believe it or not, Gretsch outsold Fender during the fifties!

But, no one at Gretsch could have prepared for the deluge of orders that came in when George Harrison showed up on every music fan’s TV screen playing a Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentlemen. America got swept up in Beatlemania, and demand for Gretsch Guitars quadrupled overnight. They went from producing 25 guitars a day to 100, and even then, there was a six-month wait time if you wanted a Gretsch.