hamano logo

Gretsch


Gretsch Kaholas and co
Kaholas & Co.
Gretsch style 3
1920's Gretsch style 3 Soprano
Gretsch American Soprano
1930's Gretsch American
Gretsch round blue ukulele
1940's Blueburst Roundbody
1950s mahogany gretsch soprano ukulele new york
1950's Soprano
Gretsch Clarophone Banjolele banjo Ukulele Corner
1930's Clarophone (Soprano)
Gretsch clarophone banjolele new
2010's Clarophone (Concert)
Gretsch 9100
2014 Gretsch 9110
Gretsch guitalele
2015 Guitalele
Gretsch prototype tenor ukulele
2000's Prototype Tenor

Gretsch was a large US mainland producer of Musical Instruments including Ukuleles. They were founded in 1883 in New York by Friedrich Gretsch and remained in the Gretsch family until 1967, (at this point they had definitely stopped making Ukuleles), usually under a Fred Gretsch, (between 1942 and 1947 Fred the 3rd's brother Bill was in charge). In 1967 the company was sold to Baldwin Music but in 1985 Fred W Gretsch (Fred the 4th) brought it back and moved it to Savannah Ga.

In addition to selling their own products under the Gretsch or Gretsch American name, (starting 1926),  they used Clarophone as a brand name on Banjoleles and Kaholas & Co. on Ukuleles, (I believe it is the case that in the late teens/early twenties they brought unbranded Ukuleles from one of the Hawaiian makers and put the Kaholas label in, later they decided it was easier to make the Ukuleles themselves - I have also read they use to distribute Leonardo Nunes Ukuleles and they started the Kaholas line when this stopped which is why the Kaholas labels also say "Ukulele'O' Hawaii"), Rex on Guitars, Mandolins and other fretted instruments, Broadkaster on Drums and some Banjos, plus they also made all sorts of instruments including Ukuleles and Banjoleles to be branded by others like Bruno, PMICo and famously Montgomery Ward with their Sherwood line

In 1938 Gretsch took over as OEM for Bacon and Day and in 1940 Gretsch purchased the Bacon name. From that time on, (to the late 1960's) Bacon was just a Gretsch brand name, (Gretsch certainly produced 5 string Banjos branded Bacon in this period but I don't think they ever made Bacon Banjoleles?)

In 2012 Gretsch restarted selling Ukuleles and Banjoleles, (I have read there is some kind of deal with Fender but I'm not sure of the details?) calling them part of the Gretsch Roots Collection. The first range consisted of an open back Banjolele branded Claraphone and Soprano, Concert and Tenor Ukuleles in laminate or solid mahogany, (made in China). In 2013 they expanded it with the addition of a wood bodied Resonator, a Guitalele and a reissue of the famous blueburst Roundbody Soprano for a limited run.

Prior to the re-introduction there were some prototypes released featuring the vaguely triangular soundholes found on Gretsch acoustic Guitars. exactly when and how many I don't know
Please contact me if you have any information or pictures that would improve the page

contact Web Administrator if you think your copyright has been infringed