Modern Gretsch Guitars

Is the there a story about Gretsch picking orange as a color?


What compelled Gretsch to choose the color orange? I’m assuming there is a story behind it.

And to my knowledge there is no color associated with a guitar/brand like orange is with Gretsch.

Ive been lusting at orange flametops on Reverb is what got me thinking about it.


Can't answer your question, but I know about the lust for orange and nice figuring.

Life long dream, finally came true a few years back.


Dreams. Yeah, Gretsches are definitely the stuff of dreams.

There are so many things we'll never know about Gretsch; that may be one of them. Somebody was doing art direction and design from early on, dreaming these things up. Catseyes, harp tailpieces, triangular soundholes, cowboy kitsch and orange. Somebody conceived, drew, designed and painted something, somewhere.

I'd like to think there are some unseen and incredible sketchbooks out there with this stuff in them. But they're probably just doodles on the back of an envelope that got thrown away after it was shown to one of those craftsmen in Brooklyn long ago, who then came up with some outstanding prototype that pleased the boss who then said, "Yeah! Make more of these!."


I think they just wanted something that would stand out between all the brown and sunburst Gibsons and Guilds.


An orange SSLVO or Cochran is on my bucket list; while I do love my CAR Hot Rod, I feel like I still don't own a REAL Gretsch 6120 because it's not Vintage Orange


Funny thing is.......the only guitar I would ever get in orange is a Gretsch, just doesn't look right or appeal to me on any thing else.


Back in Luttrell, Texas, during the 1920's, there were a family of field workers toiling away everyday in cotton fields.

While the work was good and plentiful, there just wasn't so much visual stimulation to it, that is, until the fall.

When it got close to Halloween, they'd pull some of the children out of the cotton fields and have them pick pumpkins.

Something about the Texas sun shining down on those big melons that gave them a particularly distinctive hue.

This stuck in the mind of one boy who later became a guitar player of note, Chet Atkins, and when asked what color would

you like your guitar to be, well, naturally, he was taken back to those joyous times in the pumpkin patch, and he had the

main colorist at Gretsch, C. Wilson, work with him until he had just the right shade of orange, burnt umber, copper and

other "secret shades" mixed into the iconic color we now know as Gretsch Orange.

Please tune into my next story of how the town of Wiffle, England made popular their bats and balls entirely from the rarest

element, Wiffle.


Wow, so we have Chet to thank.


At first I thought "well duh, they were going for that western vibe thing", and in retrospect "western orange" makes plenty of sense, as does "sunset orange", because those western sunsets really are something to behold. But that's only in retrospect. At the time, Gretsch Dusty Tan or Gretsch Saddle Brown or lots of other "western" colors would have made just as much sense.


Gretsch Saddle Brown of course the color punkin’-pickin’ Chet really worked up with Gretsch colorist J. Webster Flashbling. It reminded Chet of the rich soil between the rows of taters in Luttrell, Alabama. He’d never actually been fond of the iconic orange he’d been saddled with on his first Gretsch sig models (the orange having been Flashbling’s choice, based on a lost Allis Chalmers dream tractor shown at the General Mudders Farmorama in 1952).

So when they worked up a color for the Gent, Chet insisted on something more organic. Flashbling was appalled by the dismal choice, but Chet’s status by 1957 had earned him the right to override the usually dictatorial colorist who some called the Henry J of Gretsch. Flashbling looked at the color Chet had smeared on a napkin from Sardi’s (brown gravy and A1 sauce) and said, “Oh! Poop brown!”

Chet enthused, “Exactly! That’s what we’re after.”

But they couldn’t call it that, so Flashbling had his passive-aggressive revenge on Chet by giving the color a name he knew would be a burr under Chet’s urbane western-schtick-disparaging wit, Saddle Brown.



That was great, John.


It's funny to think what people may take of these stories 400-4000 years from now.


A quick review of Chapter 10 in Ed Ball's book did not pinpoint a specific person or event leading to the color choice. There is a statement that Chet did NOT like the color (along with other features of the guitar).........


Fred didn't want anyone writing snarky rhymes about Gretsch orange.


Maybe it was a Webster play on the words range/orange and the song Home on the Range as Gretsch entered the country western genre.


It's funny to think what people may take of these stories 400-4000 years from now.

Not to worry, Dave. No way a GDP database will last that long.


It's funny to think what people may take of these stories 400-4000 years from now.

Not to worry, Dave. No way a GDP database will last that long.

– Proteus

You guys are on fire today!!


If someone said I would ever own an Orange guitar 15 years ago I would have laughed. Now it is my favorite guitar color


There are lots of classical or Flamenco guitars with that colour.

A few Martins.


According to BOURNCREATIVE...

Orange, the blend of red and yellow, is a mixture of the energy associated with red and the happiness associated with yellow. Orange is associated with meanings of joy, warmth, heat, sunshine, enthusiasm, creativity, success, encouragement, change, determination, health, stimulation, happiness, fun, enjoyment, balance, sexuality, freedom, expression, and fascination.

Orange is the color of joy and creativity. Orange promotes a sense of general wellness and emotional energy that should be shared, such as compassion, passion, and warmth. Orange will help a person recover from disappointments, a wounded heart, or a blow to one’s pride.

The meaning of the color orange is stimulating, vibrant, and flamboyant. While made up of red and yellow, it carries less aggression and fierceness than the color red due to its combination with the calming color yellow.

Studies show that the orange color can create physical effects such as increased hunger, heightened sense of activity, increased socialization, boost in aspiration, stimulated mental activity, increased oxygen supply to the brain, increased contentment, and enhanced assurance. Orange also helps aid decision making, and enhances happiness, confidence, and understanding.

The color orange is a very hot color and often provides the sensation of heat. While orange is a common color associated with summer and the hot sun, often associated with being a main color of harvest and autumn due to the changing color of the leaves and pumpkins.

While orange does stimulate the appetite, it is a common color found in citrus fruit and is often associated with Vitamin C and a healthy diet. Orange is a popular color in restaurants to encourage the feeling of hunger and contentment.

The color orange has very high visibility and is often used to gain attention. It still gets your message noticed without the bold, in-your-face presence that the color red has.

Too much orange causes self-centered and self-serving qualities, including pride, arrogance, and lack of care for others. Too little orange causes loss of motivation, lower self-esteem, and loneliness.


It's funny to think what people may take of these stories 400-4000 years from now.

Not to worry, Dave. No way a GDP database will last that long.

– Proteus

(audible chuckle.)


Orange was Frank Sinatra's favorite color. 'Spoze old blue eyes had something to do with the decision?

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