Gretsch sells Bigsby brand and assets
THE BIGSBY brand goes back around seven decades and is the stuff of legend; founded by motorcycle enthusiast and machinist Paul Bigsby back in the 1940s, the name first appeared on a number of stringed musical instruments.
Of course, many guitarists will be more familiar with the renowned Bigsby vibrato tailpiece, which has been a mainstay of Gretsch guitars for decades. The design has also been licensed for use by other brands.
The year 2019 signals a new era for the brand, which has now been acquired by Fender Musical Instruments Corp (FMIC).
According to a Fender press release, “the Gretsch family and FMIC have a longstanding relationship and have partnered to ensure that the transition of the business is a smooth one.”
“We are excited to acquire Bigsby and add to our esteemed portfolio of specialty brands,” says Jeff Cary, FMIC Specialty Brands’ senior vice-president.”There is such a rich history with the vibratos, and a mystique around the guitars, pedals and steel instruments that is fascinating. Fred and Dinah Gretsch have been wonderful owners and we look forward to working with them to ensure a smooth transition,” he added.
“Paul Bigsby, Ted McCarty, Dinah and Fred Gretsch and Fender Musical Instruments Corp. all have one thing in common, an unquestioning dedication to product excellence over the long haul,” said Fred Gretsch.
“We congratulate team Fender on this strategic acquisition.”
According the Fender, Bigsby will continue to run as a standalone business under FMIC’s Specialty Brands, so expect the tradition to continue strong.