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Chicago Music Exchange Celebrates Fred Gretsch's 50 years in the Music Business

On Thursday October 1st, we opened our doors to celebrate Fred Gretsch's 50th year in the music business. The excitement was undeniable as people of all ages started to fill the room, coming as far as Minnesota, for a chance to meet and listen to one of the music industry's finest.

The night started off with a multimedia presentation on the history of Gretsch, dating back to 1883. Fred Gretsch and Joe Carducci, Gretsch's Product Marketing Specialist, did an incredible job of showing the audience how the company began and taking them through the past 100 plus years. They tackled how the company has grown and evolved, not just with guitars but drums, folk instruments, and beyond. The interactive evening included plenty of giveaways that were earned by the audience for participating with the talk. The grand finale was a raffle in which two lucky attendees received a brand new Gretsch guitar and a beautiful Gretsch snare drum.

Gretsch brought in some of the finest musicians to play for everyone and they did not disappoint. Todd "Banjoman" Taylor and Mike Moody brought jaws to the ground as Todd showed everyone exactly what it looks and sounds like to be the world's fastest banjo player. More than just a novelty, the show encapsulated Todd's true level of talent- fingers flying and all.

Coming in all the way from Canada, Paul Pigat and Cousin Harley ended the night with an incredible rockabilly show. The unstoppable trio brought down the house with their rock n' roll fury- a perfect way to wrap up the evening.

A night with Gretsch would not be complete without a chance to say hi to the man himself. At the end of the night, patrons had the chance to talk with Fred. Many brought in their prized guitars to have him sign as well as stories of how Gretsch has inspired them and played a vital roll in their own music making.

We can't wait to celebrate again with our friends at Gretsch- it was a night for the books! Thank you to all who came out and joined us, as well as the entire Gretsch crew. We can't wait to do it again.

Colleen Harvey
Colleen Harvey