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    

Vintage 1968 Fender Telecaster Bass - All Original Case 60s Tele 50s P Precision*fender Vintage 69 Telecaster Thinline Tele Body 1969 Ri Mahogany Mim1966 Vintage Fender American Telecaster Blonde W/ Ohsc Strap And Ashtray CleanVintage 1967 Fender TelecasterFender Custom Shop Custom Deluxe TelecasterTelecaster Custom Shop Vintage 1998 Fender Telecaster Deluxe, Butterscotch Blonde, Mint, Case, AmazingLimited Offer Price!! Fender Japan Aerodyne Telecaster Discontinued P-90Ron Kirn Signature "barnbuster" Loblolly Pine TelecasterFender Nashville Telecaster B-bender Guitar Fender Telecaster American Standard Electric GuitarFender Telecaster Usa American StandardFender Telecaster Electric Guitar - Ser. Number E811303 - In Hard Case - Used2015 Fender American Special Telecaster 3 Tone Sunburst W/rosewood FingerboardFender 52 Telecaster American Vintage Series 2012 Very Mint Collector Owned Fender American Standard Telecaster Hh Olympic White MapleFender Classic Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe Electric Guitar - SunburstNatural Fender Standard American Telecaster 2012 Great Shape With CaseFender Classic Player Baja Telecaster Electric Guitar 2016 No Play WearFender Classic Series '72 Telecaster Thinline Electric GuitarFender Telecaster Nashville DeluxeFender Japan Telecaster In Excellent− Condition From JapanFender American Telecaster 2009 Burgundy Wine Red See Through Rosewood AshFender Telecaster Deluxe 72 "reissue"Fender Ssh Sunburst Mim Telecaster With Fender Gig Bag Free ShippingFender Telecaster With Hardshell Case.Fender Standard Telecaster With Seymour Duncan Hotrails1971 Fender Telecaster Neck All Original W Tuners And String Tree Neck StraightFender Standard Telecaster Electric GuitarGenuine Fender 69 Thinline Sunburst Telecaster Loaded Body.Warmoth Telecaster/tele Thinline Birdseye Maple Rosewood Neck.Fender American Telecaster Neck Locking Tuners RosewoodFender Special Edition Custom Telecaster Fmt Hh Electric GuitarFender Telecaster MimFender Modern Player Telecaster Plus Charcoal Transparent Made In ChinaFender Thinline Squire TelecasterFender Telecaster American Deluxe Thinline 2015 Natural Ash Fender Squier Classic Vibe '50s TelecasterEarly 60s Vintage Fender Tweed Telecaster Or Strat Guitar Case For RepairFender 50's Classic Vibe Blonde Telecaster Tele Body W/pickups, Bridge, Wired2015 Fender Squier Classic Vibe '50s Telecaster! Butterscotch Finish! No ReserveFender American Black Telecaster Body With ElectronicsLeft Handed Fender Standard Telecaster Electric Guitar MexicoSquier By Fender E Series Telecaster Tele Guitar Mik Korea Floyd Rose IiWarmoth Chambered Telecaster Body Light WeightVintage 1968 Fender Telecaster, Usa, "f" Tuners KitMaster Aged Relic 50's Replacement Tele Telecaster Neck For FenderTelecaster Maple Neck Musikraft Fat NeckGuitar Body Telecaster Style H+h Pickups , Jim Root Model , Satin Finish WaxFender Telecaster Style Partscaster - Alpine White - Flamed Maple -premium PartsSquier By Fender Affinity Series Telecaster 2-color SunburstFender Custom Shop Telecaster Vintage Tolex G+g Hardshell Case Tele StratSquier Vintage Modified Deluxe Telecaster PartcasterFender Telecaster Style Partscaster - Alpine White - Flamed Maple -premium PartsFender Telecaster Squier Butterscotch Loaded Body No Pickups UsedAged Relic Nitro Tele Telecaster Alder Sunburst Vintage Custom Guitar Body Bound1968 Fender Telecaster Neck Plate Stratocaster Telecaster 1966 1967 1969Telecaster/ Fender - Allparts Maple Neck- Nice Chunky “c” Telecaster Body Relic1990s Fender Red Label Logo Guitar Case Stratocaster / Telecaster Good Shape