Dan Duffy's Corner

Gretsch ukulele

1

Hello- any Gretsch uke experts out there? Just obtained my first uke, and preferring older/vintage instruments, picked up this Gretsch 'standard' ukulele from eBay, one owner no less. She says her Dad gave it to her about 1960, she thinks new at the time. Came to this site to find out more about Gretsch ukes. I saw elsewhere on the website a comment that some Gretsch branded instruments were not actually made by Gretsch, including ukes?

So my question is, does anyone know if any Gretsch ukes were actually made by Gretsch, is mine one of them, and if not made by Gretsch, by whom? Whatever, is nice sounding little thing.

I wish I could say I had a Gretsch guitar, I always coveted my uncle's Country Gentleman (he was a Chet fan), but he sold it without telling me. But I have a 1970 Gibson ES335 now which suits me fine.

3

If your uke has a gold circle-Gretsch logo on it's face, it's a 50s model. If the face is blank, but it has the "Gretsch American" stamp on the reverse of the headstock, it's 30s version, and more collectible. I don't know what they made in-house and what they jobbed-out.

4

Thanks guys. It's definitely a 50's or so model, with the circular gold logo. Also I bought it from original owner, who says it was about 1960. I uploaded more pix, I guess they only post one.

Could be a rebranded Harmony, similar to the mahogany one in MacSteven's link, though headstock shape/angles and bottom of the fretboard where it overlaps the body are a bit different. I guess it is hard to know for sure. But Harmony actually made some decent all wood ukes as far as I understand, and mine sounds good to me and plays surprisingly well also- intonations and action are quite good for a 50+ yr old thing. Clearly all solid mahogany, rosewood fretboard (no plastic!). Price I paid was comparable or a bit less than other similar 50's Gretsch ukes I saw on eBay and elsewhere- the 20's/30's ones definitely go for more. Anyway, I'm having fun with it, I'm not a collector, I'd just rather have a vintage/well broken in instrument to play.


Register Sign in to join the conversation