New Savannah Museum Tells The Storied History of Gretsch Instruments

Public ribbon-cutting to open exhibit on Thursday, Nov. 18, from 12-2 p.m

Drums, guitars, history, business and education have come together in a spectacular new interactive museum and exhibit in downtown Savannah that will pique the interest of any music lover.

That Great Gretsch Sound! museum is a new destination where Georgia Southern University helps tell the story of a family owned company that is still regarded as one of the music industry’s most influential and innovative instrument manufacturers. The permanent display of music memorabilia, highlighting more than 135 years of Gretsch instruments, is featured in District Live’s new lobby and performance space on the banks of the Savannah River. The museum is the latest addition to the Plant Riverside District.

A public ribbon cutting event to open the exhibit is planned for Thursday, Nov. 18, from noon until 2 p.m., as part of the grand opening of Plant Riverside District – Savannah’s Entertainment District. The celebration will include speakers, the Southern Pride Marching Band, live performances by ensembles from the Fred and Dinah Gretsch School of Music at Georgia Southern University, and an appearance by Freedom, the University’s live bald eagle mascot. The event will start with the Georgia Southern marching band marching down the riverwalk to the MLK park at Plant Riverside. Remarks will begin at 12:30 p.m., with the cutting of the ribbon set to happen at 12:55 p.m.

The That Great Gretsch Sound! exhibit space highlights some of the most popular and unique pieces of Gretsch’s historic catalog. The museum lobby features some of the most iconic instruments the company has produced, including the White Falcon™, the Chet Atkins® Country Gentleman ®, a Brian Setzer Signature G6120 and a vintage 1963 Jet™ Firebird popularized by AC/DC’s Malcolm Young. In the District Live performance hall, visitors will be treated to a visual timeline that will allow them to explore the evolution of Gretsch instruments dating back to the 1920s. Approximately 100 guitars are on display in the exhibit, 48 of which were recently on display in Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

The That Great Gretsch Sound! museum was developed through a special partnership between the Fred and Dinah Gretsch School of Music at Georgia Southern University and The Kessler Collection.

The museum features three sound dome displays with original videos that highlight Gretsch history. Visit

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