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    

Schecter Pete Townsend Diamond Series Gold-top Telecaster No Reserve!!!Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster Upgraded 4-way ModSquire Classic Vibe 50's Telecaster Esquire 4-way Eldred Cavalier Fat Lion PupsFender 2015 American Standard Telecaster (s22007535)Telecaster Thinline Body ButterscotchTele Telecaster Guitar Neck Musikraft Fender Licensed Qs Flame / Dark RosewoodFender Usa Telecaster - Highway 1 Guitar - American MadeProject - Hard Shell Tweed Electric Guitar Case For Stratocaster Or TelecasterTele Telecaster Guitar Neck Musikraft Fender Licensed Flame Maple 1994 Fender Telecaster Foto Flame Mij Rare Natural Finish Low Action 2004 Fender Telecaster Electric Guitar W/hard Case – Black – Made In U.s.a.Tele Telecaster Guitar Neck Musikraft Fender Licensed Birdseye / RosewoodWarmoth Telecaster Body Chambered Mahogany - Two HumbuckerFender Classic 72 Telecaster Tele Custom Electric Guitar - Black / Maple NeckTele Telecaster Guitar Neck Musikraft Fender Licensed Roasted Maple80s Coast F/a Gtx 400 Electric Telecaster Style Guitar Black Minor RepairRustic Barncaster/cedarcaster/telecaster Style Replacement Body ProjectTele Telecaster Guitar Neck Musikraft Fender Licensed Roast Qs Flame / Brazilian Telecaster Style Guitar Body Made By Welch. Sparkle Finish.Telecaster Pickup Set Seymour DuncanSquier Classic Vibe Telecaster Thinline Electric Guitar Semi-hollow & Abs Case*no Reserve!*1983 Fender Telecaster Dead Mint! Showroom Condition 100% Original!Fender Telecaster '72 Custom, Black, 1992 Mim, Super Clean, Great Tone, Keith! Used Fender Limited Edition Am Std Double Cut Telecaster Butterscotch With CaseFender Classic Player Baja '60s Telecaster Rare Quartersawn Neck Callaham & CaseTele Telecaster Guitar Neck Musikraft Fender Licensed Quartersawn MapleRare Fender Pickup 1955 Telecaster Esquire Weak Power Needs Repair Ez Project1994 – 1995 Fender Telecaster Dx With Lace Sensors Japanese Made Fender Aerodyne Telecaster Neck Fender Usa Black Tolex Stratocaster Or Telecaster Hardshell CaseFender Blacktop Hh Telecaster Silver Electric Guitar With Fender CaseSquier By Fender Tele Telecaster Affinity Loaded Guitar Body Project Parts12 String Unfinished Telecaster Electric Guitar BodyFender American Vintage 64 Telecaster Electric GuitarFender Fsr American '72 Telecaster Custom Electric GuitarRustic Barncaster/esquire/telecaster Style Replacement Body ProjectCrystal Clear Pickups 60's Pre Cbs Repro Hand Wound Aged Relic Telecaster SetWarmoth Roasted Maple Telecaster NeckCrystal Clear Pickups 60's Pre Cbs Repro Hand Wound Grey Bobbin Telecaster SetSquier Vintage Modified Telecaster Bass Special (w/ Wide Range Humbucker Pickup)Fender Telecaster Body Mim Lake Placid Blue RelicFender American Standard Telecaster 2015 Natural Ash2016 American Standard Fender Telecaster Tele Body Usa Guitar Parts BlackTelecaster Tele Replacement Neck With Amber Maple FinishRelic Tele Neck Aged Vintage Finish Nitro Telecaster 50'sFender American Standard Telecaster1994-95 Fender Japan Mij Telecaster Tele Rosewood Body With Fender Us C.s. PusSurfleaf Pine Telecaster Style Guitar Body With Porter 9t Pickup SetTelecaster Pickup SetFender Stratocaster Telecaster Hybrid 72'pawnshop Model Semi Hollow Tone MonsterJapanese Made Fender Aerodyne Telecaster BodyFender Custom Shop Telecaster 2015Replacement Body All Nitro Fits Fender*telecaster*Fender Elite Series Strat Tele Locking "f" Tuners Guitar Chrome TelecasterFender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster Seymour Duncan Little '59 Bigsby B5 MimCustom 2014 Fender American Standard Telecaster In Sonic Blue With Gibson Bb'sSemi Loaded Thinline Style Telecaster Tele Body W/ B Bender! Nitro! Light Relic!Fender Modern Player Telecaster Plus Electric Guitar Honey BurstAmerican Fender Elite Strat Tele Abs Hardshell Case Usa Stratocaster TelecasterTele Telecaster Guitar Neck Musikraft Fender Licensed Roasted Birdseye