Fender’s first solid-body electric guitar debuted in 1950 as the one-pickup Esquire. Fewer than 50 of the white-pickguard, black-finish ash guitars were made, and many of those were returned due to the lack of a truss rod in the instrument’s bolt-on maple neck (without a stabilizing rod, the neck tended to bend).

By the end of that same year, a two-pickup model of the same guitar design, with a butterscotch finish and a black pickguard, was rebranded as the Broadcaster. These guitars featured a truss rod in the neck, and between 300 and 500 of the instruments were produced before Gretsch pointed out that it had been making a drum called the Broadkaster since the 1920s. Not wanting to slow down production, Fender simply snipped the word Broadcaster from the headstock decal that also included the company’s logo and shipped the guitars with no name on them at all. Only about 60 of these Nocasters, as they are now known, were built, making them one of the most collectible vintage Fender guitars available.

In April of 1951, the guitar finally got a name that stuck—the Telecaster. Early finishes ranged from "Tele blond" in 1955 to two types of sunbursts in 1957 and 1958. Any color in the Dupont Duco line was available for most of the 1950s, and in 1968, the company made a hippie-themed guitar with pink paisleys and blue flowers.

Subsequent models within the Telecaster family included the 1968 Thinline, whose ash or mahogany body was hollow on the bass side of the guitar—the empty chamber was revealed by an f-hole. A top-of-the-line Telecaster Custom from 1972 featured humbucker pickups, which gave the instrument a warmer sound than the bright one that had typified the original.

One of the biggest compliments the instrument has been given is the wide range of musicians who have embraced it. Elvis Presley and Merle Haggard played Telecasters, as did Buck Owens and Waylon Jennings. Eric Clapton played a Telecaster during his days with the Yardbirds (though he famously switched to a Stratocaster during his Derek and the Dominoes years), and George Harrison played a Telecaster during the "Let It Be" sessions. Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones has been playing a Telecaster Custom almost since it was introduced in 1972, while Bruce Springsteen posed with his Telecaster on the cover of "Born To Run." Last but certainly not least is Jimmy Page, who played a his 1958, hand-painted, "Dragon Telecaster" on one of Led Zeppelin’s most enduring classics, "Stairway to Heaven."

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Vintage Guitars Info

Vintage Guitars Info

This great reference site features detailed sections on vintage guitar makers, including Gibson, Fender, Martin, Gr… [read review or visit site]

Vintage Guitar and Bass

Vintage Guitar and Bass

Want to see all the old brochures and ads for your favorite vintage axe? Check out this great site, which showcases… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Squier By Fender - '72 Thinline Telecaster - 6 String - Right - Electric GuitarWarmoth Telecaster Body Vintage Blonde Nitro Finish RelicFender Modern Player Telecaster PlusMint American Fender Telecaster S-1 White Blonde Electric Guitar Usa Made1966 Fender Telecaster Maple Guitar Neck "2 Jan 66 B" Mint Unused StratocasterCustom Esquire Broadcaster Telecaster Guitar Premium PartsNice Warmoth By Fender Maple Guitar Custom Neck Employee Estate Telecaster Lefty 1983 Fender Japan Telecaster- '62 Re-issue, Double Bound Body2003 Fender American Standard Telecaster - Mint Condition!!Rare Vintage 1967 Fender Telecaster Maple Guitar Neck Stamped "3 Sep 67 B" NiceFender Telecaster Neck Mim W/ Fender TunersFender Telecaster Thinline Electric GuitarFender Squier Telecaster Tele Custom Ii P90Allparts Fender Telecaster Deluxe Or Strat Neck With Grover TunersFender Standard Telecaster Fsr Ash Electric Guitar2015 Fender Custom Shop Telecaster Deluxe Trans Purple Matte Aaa Maple Quilt!Fender Telecaster American Deluxe Electric Guitar With Custom Shop Tool KitTele Telecaster Guitar Neck Musikraft Fender Licensed Jatoba Brazilian CherryFender Telecaster - Jeff Buckley - Inspired1999 - 2000 Fender American Standard Telecaster Electric GuitarWarmoth Telecaster Neck Lic By Fender Maple V Shape .99 Cents, No ReserveTelecaster Pickup Set With Switch Plate - Hand Wound Bridge Pickup - Sound GreatFender American Standard Telecaster Maple NeckFender Telecaster 94-95 Made In Mexico Surfleaf Telecaster Style Nitro Finish Guitar Body, Light / Med. Wear / Relic2011 Fender Telebration March Flame Top Telecaster Antique Burst Lmt. Edt. -usedFender Limited Edition American Vintage '52 Korina Telecaster Electric GuitarFender Cabronita TelecasterFender Telecaster American Standard Electric GuitarFender Baja Telecaster W/ Warmoth NeckFender 2006 Standard Telecaster Special Edition NaturalVintage Mid-1960's Fender Telecaster Ash Body Old Original Part Lightweight NrFender Thin Skin Telecaster 1962 Reissue Guitar Custom Shop Rock Electric StratFender Relic Telecaster 1999 CunettoFender Artist Jim Root Telecaster Electric GuitarRustic Barncaster/cedarcaster/telecaster Style Replacement Body Project1996 Mij Fender Telecaster Custom Tc-72 '72 Reissue Electric GuitarCozart 12 String Electric Telecaster Style Guitar Fender Custom Shop Telecaster Vintage Tolex G&g Hardshell Case StratocasterSeymour Duncan Five Two Tele Bridge Pickup Stl52-1 Telecaster Sd Lead NashvilleFender Squier '72 Vintage Modified Telecaster Tele Thinline Tri Burst FinishFender Telecaster Body Fender 60th Ann Standard Telecaster Body No Rzv! Global!.relic Tele Neck Aged Vintage Finish Nitro Telecaster 69Squier Affinity Telecaster Electric GuitarFender Custom Shop Telecaster Vintage Tolex G+g Hardshell Case TeleFender Telecaster Neck Usa Maple 2011 60th Anniversary No Reserve!Stratocaster Telecaster Hardshell Guitar Case No Rzv Fender Strat Tele Case!Tele Pickup Set Fit Fender Telecaster Alnico5 Magnets Without Cover On Neck.American Fender Texas TelecasterVintage 1969 Fender Stratocaster Case Telecaster Strat Tele Tail Logo 1967 1968 Fender Standard Telecaster Electric GuitarFender G&g Black Tweed Hardshell Case Strat Tele Stratocaster TelecasterTelecaster Replacement Body W/bridge& Plates Incl. No Reserve2003 Fender Standard Telecaster Left Handed Electric Guitar Mim Free Shipping!Fender Tinted Flamed Maple Nitro Finish/rosewood Replacement Neck Telecaster NrSurfleaf Telecaster Style Nitro Finish Guitar BodyFender 2016 Squier Affinity Butterscotch Telecaster Electric GuitarMaple Fender Telecaster Tele Neck 90sNew Mighty Mite Rosewood Neck For Fender TelecasterTelecaster Body - Gfs - Natural