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."


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Recent News: Telecaster Guitars

Source: Google News

Susanna Hoffs Gearing Up for Stagecoach, Shares Her Favorite Musical Memories
Yahoo Music (blog), April 15th

Once I was handed a wedding ring while on stage with the Bangles, and another time I was sent a pink paisley telecaster guitar, both of which I returned. Do you have a special pre-show ritual? I like to get in the mood by listening to '60s music and...Read more

Rock, Rattle & Drum: 5 Native Musical Instrumental Makers Beating Their Way to ...
Indian Country Today Media Network, April 15th

“I still have the telecaster copy I learned to build there,” he said. “It's still usable and people play the hell out of it.” Now the owner of Longbow Guitars, a business he started in 1984 after the metal band he was in split up, the Choctaw/Chickasaw...Read more

Triple J has rebranded Dig Music, the latest addition to its roster, which ...
Tone Deaf, April 15th

Notable mention to Mia Dyson, who ripped her Telecaster apart much to the pleasure of the grinning throng. The Hoodoo Gurus have not lost any of their talent in the 30-plus years of their existence. After the crowd called out for 'Leilani' early in the...Read more

The Gum Ball Festival 2014
Tone Deaf, April 15th

Notable mention to Mia Dyson, who ripped her Telecaster apart much to the pleasure of the grinning throng. The Hoodoo Gurus have not lost any of their talent in the 30-plus years of their existence. After the crowd called out for 'Leilani' early in the...Read more

Live review: John Howie Jr. & The Rosewood Bluff turn The Cave into a rainforest
The Independent Weekly, April 14th

Headlong rollick and upbeat western swing defined much of the set, with Howie's big-bodied Gibson jumbo laying a chunky, acoustic foundation for guitarist Tim Shearer's Telecaster runs. Pedal steel player Nathan Golub loomed intently over his...Read more

Kelsey Waldon records Southern Session and releases details on 'The Goldmine'
Southern Manners, April 13th

On 'Town Clown” we had a telecaster steel on it. It's very 70's-esque.” Waldon said about her new work. With the album behind her now, she plans to steer her focus on shows and promoting it this summer. “I do feel more relieved that everything is set...Read more

Pawtucket man is one of country's best young guitar-makers
The Providence Journal, April 13th

Though he's considered one of the best young guitar-makers in the country, D'Ambrosio doesn't keep many guitars in his own studio. What's more, the few guitars he does have — notably a battered old Fender Telecaster — are hardly the stuff of rock...Read more

Burglars stole musician's prize £1300 electric guitar
Manchester Evening News, March 19th

The student bought the guitar, a Fender Telecaster Thinline 1972, for £1,000 aged 15, and used it to play backing for Sheeran at a gig in Edinburgh. He later played it recording an album called Sun Choir with high profile stars including Pulp front-man...Read more