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    

Fender 1997 Usa Sunburst American Telecaster Deluxe Plus Body2009 Fender Telecaster Special Edition Sea Green Made In Mexico (gce018822)Prince Guitar Tribute Madcat H.s. Anderson Hohner Custom TelecasterFender 2001 Usa Maple American Telecaster NeckUsed Fender American Standard Telecaster Hh Electric Guitar Black TeleTele Telecaster Guitar Neck Musikraft Fender Licensed Riftsawn Rosewood Fender Telecaster Blond Butterscotch With Fender Case And Extras2011 60th Anniversary Fender American Special Telecaster Electric Guitar Usa Tele Telecaster Guitar Neck Musikraft Fender Licensed Qs / Rosewood Vintage Ri Fender Strat Tele G&g Blonde Hardshell Case Stratocaster TelecasterVintage 1954 Fender Telecaster (no Reissue - Actual Vintage Guitar)Tele Telecaster Guitar Neck Musikraft Fender Licensed Pau Ferro Mastery Telecaster Bridge *** 1985 Fender Deluxe Telecaster Made In Japan Mij Electric Guitar 6 String ***Telecaster Body / Walnut / Alder / Tele Guitar Body / Light Weight 3 Lbs 9 OzFender Special Edition Custom Telecaster Fmt Hh Electric Guitar Free Ship W/binFender American Standard Telecaster W/coffin CaseBroadcaster Telecaster Pickup Hand Wound Jess Loureiro Tele Telecaster Guitar Neck Musikraft Fender Licensed Birdseye Aged OilFender Standard Telecaster MimTele Telecaster Guitar Neck Musikraft Fender Licensed MapleFender Select TelecasterFender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster Butterscotch W/ Gig Bag&free Us Shipping!Tele Telecaster Guitar Neck Musikraft Fender Licensed Quartersawn Highly Flame Tele Telecaster Guitar Neck Musikraft Fender Licensed Maple2008-09 Mexican Made Fender Deluxe Telecaster 3 Pick-up 'blackout' Guitar *look*1982 Relic Fullerton Fender Vintage White Bullet Telecaster Style BodyFender '52 Telecaster Relic Electric Guitar*custom Shop*2010*ohsc*coa*no ReserveFender Standard Telecaster Electric GuitarSquier Affinity Telecaster Electric Guitar Mint ConditionFender Classic Series '50s Telecaster Lacquer Guitar Body Seafoam Green Nitro1982 Fullerton Fender Dakota Red Bullet Deluxe Telecaster Style BodyFender Custom Shop Designed Classic Player Triple Telecaster Black Body & GuardSeymour Duncan Tele Bridge Antiquity Telecaster Relic Nr! Aged Singlecoil FenderFender Telecaster Custom Shop Relic John Cruz Masterbuilt GuitarRustic Barncaster/pinecaster/telecaster Style Replacement Body2005 Fender Telecaster American Dlx Fmt Fsr Hh Tele Body Fully Loaded No Reserve1974 Fender Telecaster Deluxe Brown Mocha Closet Stored Original Vg ConditionTelecaster Body, Ash, Alder, Walnut, H/h Tele Body. "b" Grade See DescriptionTelecaster Body, Quilted Maple, Alder, Tele Body U.s.a. MadeRustic Barncaster/pinecaster/telecaster Style Replacement BodyTelecaster Body / Walnut / Ash / Tele Guitar Body / U.s.a. Rustic Barncaster/pinecaster/telecaster Style Replacement BodyFender Squier Classic Vibe TelecasterTfn Technologies Telecaster Electronic Control Pots Harness & Mts.Fender Telecaster 2006 - 2007 Corona Caifornia 6 String Electric GuitarUnfinished Poplar Telecaster Style Guitar Body Tele Project Vintage 1970-1975 Fender Telecaster Guitar Pickguard Tele Rare UsaTelecaster Tele Body W/ B Bender! New!nitro! Made In Usa! Sunburst!Telecaster Body / Ash / Mahogany / Bloodwood / Tele Guitar Body / U.s.a. Vintage 1980's Schecter Telecaster Guitar Strat Brass Knobs Volume ToneGfs Vintage 63 Telecaster Pickup SetFender Classic Series '60s Telecaster 2015 Olympic WhiteFender Telecaster 72 Deluxe Electric Guitar With Gig BagFender Stratocaster Telecaster Hardshell Case No Rzv! Fender Guitar Case Nice!Fender Usa Black Stratocaster Or Telecaster Hardshell Case1963-1967 Fender Stratocaster Telecaster Guitar Double Line Kluson Tuners UsaGuitar Body Quilted Maple Top White Binding Brown Sunburst For Telecaster Warmoth Lic. Fender Telecaster Body/ Relic/ Cool Factor/ Lower Price/ UsaStellar 1999 Fender Telecaster Body W/ 2 Pickguards & Compensated Brass Saddles