It was in 1883 when Friedrich Gretsch started production of Gretsch musical instruments including banjos, tambourines and drums. The company became an instant success but Friedrich Gretsch died in 1895 so his son Fred, who was only 15 then have no choice but to take over the company. It was in 1948 when Fred Gretsch Jr. took control of the company and led it to its guitar glory days.
The Golden Age of the Gretsch guitars started only in 1954. The Electromatic quickly evolved into the Country Club followed by the introduction of Jet sold bodies. Then the two most popular models of Gretsch Guitar, the 6120 Chet Atkins model and the White Falcon were in the market. The target market of the 6120 Chet Atkins model is country but rock and rollers like Eddie Cochran, Pete Townshend and Brian Setzer became interested on how to use Gretsch Guitars.
In the late 50s, the Gretsch Guitars had become a major player for having a distinct tone and flashy finishes. When George Harrison played a Country Gentleman on the Ed Sullivan show in the mid-60s, Gretsch Guitars became even more popular.
Baldwin Pianos took over the company in 1967 and unfortunately, the Gretsch Guitars had fallen out of favor. The bad fortune went on until the 70s and the reign of the Gretsch Guitars continued to deteriorate. It was only in 1988 when it started to get back in the business again and in 2003, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation started to manufacture and distribute a full range of new and improved models of Gretsch Guitars.