While many guitar makers start out as Mom & Pop luthier shops, Gretsch is the exception - this company was founded in 1883 to make banjos, tambourines and drums. It was only in the 1930s that Gretsch began making guitars, and by that point they were already one of the country's foremost instrument makers. With their background in percussion, it's easy to understand why they've always specialized in hollow-body guitars. Gretsch guitars are known for their characteristic twangy sound, which has worked its magic on many genres in the hands of some truly influential artists. One of the company's most important endorsements came from Chet Atkins in the '50s and '60s, and Chet's signature models of the classic 6120 hollow-body and 6122 "Country Gentleman" are still among the company's flagship guitars. The Country Gent would go on to be played by Elvis Presley and George Harrison, and led to a derivative model called the Tennessean, which was played by Brian Jones for the Rolling Stones' first album.
Even today, the foundation of the Gretsch lineup is built on their hollow-body guitars, which will give you the resonant vintage sound that guitarists have come to associate with the Gretsch name. Most of the hollow-body models are built with single or double cutaways, but there are some exceptions. Two standouts are the Billy-Bo Jupiter Thunderbird and the Bo Diddley G5810 with its distinctive rectangular shape, both chambered designs without prominent cutaways. Gretsch also has some solid-body choices, including the G5410 Electromatic Special and the G5135 CVT, a mahogany axe that looks as good as it sounds.
A Gretsch electric guitar is a great choice for country, folk, bluegrass, rockabilly, and even pop - it all depends on what sort of sound you want to have. Gretsch has options to please any lover of classic guitar sounds and styles, so go ahead and look for the axe that's the best fit for you.