Baldwin Piano and Organ made an offer and bought the Gretsch name and manufacturing rights and built Gretsch guitars right alongside the Burns instruments.
Duke Kramer and his expertise was part of the package.
|Baldwin Gretsch Committee|
Baldwin only stayed in the guitar business for around five years. By then the company decided to get out of the guitar business. Duke bought all of the remaining inventory. He hired 2 semi-trailers and hauled it to his home in Cincinnati Ohio.
Much of the inventory that Duke had purchased became the cornerstone of the reintroduction of the new Gretsch. Duke turned to the Terada Company in Japan to build Gretsch guitars. But for a few custom shop models, most of the current Gretsch instruments are now made in China. After retirement Duke and his wife went around the country selling off their remaining stock until his death at age 88.
the guitars were named The Silver Duke and The Gold Duke.
If you asked Mr. Kramer about the model he would deny that the guitars were produced as a tribute to his service to the company. But most guitar afficianados know better.
Apparently there are no videos of the Gretsch Silver Duke being played. Since it was actually a Gretsch Corvette, below is an example of how that guitar sounds.