The Gretsch Company Celebrates 125 Years with a Search for the World’s Hottest Unsigned Bands

To celebrate its 125th anniversary, The Gretsch Company, one of the world’s most well-known drum and guitar manufacturers, is kicking off the Next Gretsch Greats Unsigned Artist Competition, an online competition to identify the world’s hottest unsigned bands. The competition entry period will begin May 1 and end May 31, 2008.
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“George Harrison, Charlie Watts, Chet Atkins, Bono, Brian Setzer, Phil Collins, Chick Webb, Art Blakey – they’re just a few of the ‘Gretsch Greats’ who made our drums and guitars so famous over the past 125 years,” said Gretsch Company president Fred W. Gretsch. “This year, as we celebrate our musical heritage and kick off the next 125 years of ‘that great Gretsch sound,’ we’re looking for the next generation of Gretsch greats who are going to help define popular music.”

To enter the competition, artists simply visit and submit an mp3 file of the original song that could help make them famous. Every artist who enters will receive a free commemorative Gretsch 125th Anniversary poster, while the top three prizes include the opportunity to perform at Gretsch’s 125th Anniversary Concert in New York City and enough Gretsch gear to take an up-and-coming band out of the garage and into the limelight.

Grand Prize Winner performs live at Gretsch’s 125th Anniversary Concert in New York City as part of an illustrious lineup of “Gretsch Greats” and wins a full rack of great Gretsch gear, including:

• Gretsch Setzer Hot Rod guitar
• Gretsch Electrotone bass guitar
• Gretsch Rancher Cutaway acoustic/electric guitar with Fishman® pickup
• 20-watt Gretsch Executive Amplifier with 15” Eminence speaker
• Gretsch Renown 5-piece drum set in Bermuda Sparkle Lacquer finish

1st Prize winner wins enough gear to “Gretsch their garage,” including: 

• Gretsch Pro Jet electric guitar
• Gretsch Rancher Jr. acoustic/electric guitar with Fishman® pickup
• Gretsch Broadkaster bass guitar
• Gretsch Catalina Club Rock 5-piece drum set in Silver Sparkle over Silver Lacquer finish

2nd Prize winner wins $1,250 in Gretsch-product gift certificates to help them take their sound to the next level. 

Ten finalists will be selected by popular online voting at in June and July. Then, the finalists will be judged by an expert panel who will select the grand, first and second prize winners.

The Next Gretsch Greats Unsigned Artist Competition is open to unsigned and independent label recording acts residing in the United States, U.K., Canada, Spain, Germany, France and Japan. No purchase will be necessary to enter or win. The complete contest rules are available for review at

More information about The Gretsch Company’s 125th Anniversary celebrations can be found at and