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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Masters Of The Telecaster A Night Of Roots Rock N' RollLongIsland.com, September 18th
Sag Harbor, NY - September 18, 2014 - Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center for the Arts is pleased to announce Masters of the Telecaster, A Night of Roots Rock N' Roll with GE Smith, Larry Campbell, Jim Weider and special guest Taylor Barton on ...Read more
A party for the HighlandsNew Jersey Herald, September 18th
Famous for playing the thicker sounding Telecaster guitar, Weider said Project Percolator will be playing originals and covers of The Band songs. The music will "lean towards the bigger, uptempo tunes," and then "a couple of atmospheric tunes to put in...Read more
Last Best Show: Jack White at Fenway ParkBoston Herald, September 17th
Jack and his five-piece backing band muddled through some bad sound and strange energy for a few songs -- although he kicked “Lazaretto” in the pants with that powder blue Telecaster. When they cooled off, they tightened the screws and Jack picked up ...Read more
Yazoo Rolls Out New Beer Just for AmericanaFestNashville Scene, September 17th
It was your typical Americana scene: lots of beards, lots of plaid (both in the crowd and on stage) and lots of heads bobbing to the sound of an instrumental group fronted by two guitarists, one on a Telecaster and the other on a steel, as they ripped...Read more
ProgPower USA XV: Kick-Off Day With Pagan's Mind, DGM, and DraekonMetal Underground, September 17th
Simone also had the first Fender Telecaster to feature active pickups that this writer had ever seen -- HOT DAMN! Lovely guitars were on full display today. Next up was the longer test of endurance -- Pagan's Mind -- and Jorn Viggo Lofstad's beautiful...Read more
ROB ZOMBIE Guitarist JOHN 5 Says His Upcoming Pay-Per-View Concert Will ...BLABBERMOUTH.NET, September 17th
On October 18, former MARILYN MANSON and current ROB ZOMBIE guitarist John 5 will play his first-ever solo concert, bringing his twisted musical visions to life as he performs songs spanning his entire solo career including, live tracks from his new...Read more
Five Famous Stolen (and Never Returned) GuitarsFDRMX, September 16th
Number Three: Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood's Telecaster Plus: Greenwood is known for having three Telecaster Plus guitars throughout his career, and unfortunately the first two were stolen in 1995. Radiohead's guitar tech, Plank, and Greenwood rewired ...Read more
Fender Telecaster vs Stratocaster: Learn The Difference Of The Two Signature ...KpopStarz, August 26th
The Fender Telecaster and the Fender Stratocaster has been widely used by a lot of musician and has been already a legend for Fender. The reason behind this is that these guitars can be flexible and can be used in almost any kind of genre imaginable...Read more