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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Quiet Giant: A Band That Belongs To The People
Hartford Courant, February 9th

She sings with a black Fender Telecaster strapped around her neck, adorned with stickers advertising other Connecticut bands. Capalbo is community-minded and an extrovert: You can't play music in a vacuum, she says. You have to support others, and ...Read more

Devin Townsend Talks Casualties of Cool + Upcoming Projects
Loudwire, February 8th

So the latter side of the Deconstruction process and there were so many layers and pieces of the puzzle to put together I would come home at night from the studio and I had bought myself an old telecaster and around midnight I guess I would come home...Read more

The Search For Jimi Hendrix's Purple Haze Telecaster In New Book
antiMUSIC.com, February 7th

On Thursday The Search For Jimi Hendrix's Purple Haze Telecaster In New Book was a top story. Here is the recap: (Classic Rock) A book which investigates whether a second-hand guitar was the one used by Jimi Hendrix to record Purple Haze in 1967 ...Read more

Guitarist Albert Lee's virtuosity rooted in melody
South Bend Tribune, February 7th

2002 Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance for his work on bluegrass icon Earl Scruggs' self-titled record, commercial success has virtually eluded the 72-year-old Lee, whose name has become synonymous with the Fender Telecaster...Read more

Stunning Custom Shop Telecaster has its own musical movement
Gizmag, February 5th

In March last year, guitar maker Gibson brought some eye-catching sparkle to its twin-horned classic by adding more than 400 carat of diamonds and pounds of 18 K gold to an SG for the creation of the two million dollar Eden of Coronet. Master Builders...Read more

NAMM 2016: Fender unveils 'Magnificent Seven' Limited Edition guitars
MusicRadar.com, January 29th

The range is completed by the American Elite Stratocaster, Telecaster with Figured Neck, Telecaster with Painted Headcap and the American Standard Offset Telecaster. The new instruments will be released throughout the year between March and October...Read more

NAMM 2016: Fender Custom Shop's Music Repeater Telecaster Was Inspired by an ...
Guitar World Magazine, January 25th

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) and its Custom Shop has unveiled the Music Repeater Telecaster, created by Master Builder Yuriy Shishkov. As part of the Fender Custom Shop 2016 Prestige Collection for NAMM, this is a fully performing ...Read more

Fender American Elite Telecaster review
MusicRadar.com, January 21st

On the Elite Telecaster 226 with its classic-looking 'bursted finish and white top-edge binding, there's a classic 60s vibe that allows us to see a finely centre-joined slab of ash and a rib-cage contour round the back, which really works with that...Read more