Alumni Entrepreneurs

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Alumni Entrepreneurs

Gretchen Christopher, BA, 1982


Gold Cup Music

Type of Business

Performing Arts

Contact Information

Post Office Box 11311
Olympia, WA 98508-1311

Email Gretchen

Phone: (360)866-7866


Please describe any patents you hold on inventions or processes and where those are held and when you got the patent.

From 1958, as a teenager, and on into the 21st century, as a Leap Year teenager, again, I've created original music and lyrics for which I've held the copyrights; from the hit 1959 single "Come Softly To Me" - #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, Million-Seller Gold Record and Best Selling SheetMusic in USA and UK, to the 2007 CD, "Gretchen's Sweet Sixteen (Suite 16)" - a Billboard Critics' Pick for 10 Best Albums of the Year (including 16 self-penned autobiographical songs).

How did Evergreen prepare you for your professional life?

After 11 Billboard Hit Singles and 15 albums as The Fleetwoods' original lead female Vocalist, BMI Million Airs Songwriter and Gold Record Vocal Arranger, I left Hollywood and ultimately returned to Olympia, WA, where I sought help from Evergreen music faculty Don Chan in learning to notate one of my most complex jazz instrumentals and other new songs.  Some of the latter now appear on SUITE 16.  I was only allowed to enroll as Part Time Student, but Don Chan evaluated me as having done the work of a Full Time Student and more, so eventually I petitioned for full credit, offering to pay the difference in tuition, and full credits were granted.  I was surprised when I looked up my credits and found I was within a few credits of graduating.  I went for it.  I participated in Graduation ceremonies and received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Jun 1982, 20 years after I'd have received it if I'd stayed with my original class at Whitman College, which I left to go on tour to take the first song I wrote and recorded as The Fleetwoods, "Come Softly To Me" to Number One in the Nation.   The Jazz Dance classes I taught and offered independently, on campus at Evergreen, became part of the nucleus around which TESC's Leisure Education Program developed, in which I taught and offered classes from Jazz to Disco,  Ballet to Swing, not to mention Modeling, Music Business, and Group A Cappella Doo Wop Singing.   Before I graduated from TESC, I'd already served as Adjunct Faculty of St. Martin's College (now University) where, for purposes of pay scale, my expertise, experience, education and accomplishments were evaluated as being the equivalent of a PhD, and I was appointed Sr. Lecturer 1 in the Discipline of Fine Arts (four years before I earned my BA at Evergreen in 1982).

Additional Comments:

My post-grad, real world credits include inductions into the Northwest Music Hall of Fame (1988), the Olympia High School Alumni Hall of Fame (2005), the Doo Wopp Hall of Fame of America (2006), and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame (2006), for which I performed in 2008, in celebration of this latest, The Fleetwoods' 4th Hall of Fame Induction.   Though I am honored to have earned these accolades, recognizing a career that began at the top, as the first group in the world to have two Number One Record top The Billboard Hot 100 in a single year (1959), not to be exceeded until 1964 when the Supremes had three Number One Hits and the Beatles had an astounding six; still, my proudest achievement is having conceived, designed, written, performed, recorded and produced the 16-song CD and 16-page booklet of liner notes that make up the autobiographical concept album, GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN (SUITE 16), among the 2007 Billboard Critics' Picks for 10 BEST ALBUMS OF THE YEAR.  Sound Clips may be heard at   If you are a musician and, after hearing the Sound Clips, you feel you would enjoy performing these songs with me (first in an upcoming concert to benefit the acquisition and development of a park on the isthmus, preserving our spectacular views to and from our State Capitol; then for various paid bookings), you may reach me by going to any of the websites below and clicking on the link that says, "Contact Us."    Thank you for helping me celebrate Gretchen's Sweet Sixteen and sharing this link with others.  Do visit and - as well as our pages on.MySpace and FaceBook and, for perhaps the most complete info and discographies, and enjoy!  I look forward to our musical meeting!