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 1956 Fender Esquire (telecaster) + Ohsc - No Reserve!1982 Fender Jv Telecaster 52 Model In Butterscotch (large Fender Logo)2011 Fender '72 Telecaster Thinline Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar - Sunburst2014 Fender Modern Player Telecaster Plus Honey Burst HssFender Standard Telecaster Electric Guitar2011 Fender Telecaster Thinline Classic '72 Series Electric Guitar MimSx Telecaster Electric Guitar 1984 Mij Fender Telecaster NeckWarmoth Lic. By Fender Telecaster Neck ,w/ Sperzal Locking Tuners,bone NutTele Telecaster Guitar Neck Musikraft Fender Licensed Riftsawn Flame MapleFender Telecaster Hmt Thinline Butterscotch Flame!2005 Fender Telecaster Usa, Natural FinishTele Telecaster Guitar Neck Musikraft Fender Licensed Riftsawn Flame Maple2008-2009 Fender Telecaster Made In MexicoStadium Telecaster Electric Guitar With Bigsby Vibrato Excellent ConditionDouble Bound Custom Swamp Ash Body Vintage 50s 60s Style Fender Telecaster PartsDouble Bound Custom Vintage White Body Vintage 60s Style Fender Telecaster PartVintage 1958 Reissue Fender Telecaster Electric Guitar With Case Made In Usa2014 Fender Usa Ltd American Sandblasted Telecaster Red No ReserveLollar J-street Telecaster Bridge Pickup Fender Standard Telecaster Mim Artic White2007 Fender American Standard Telecaster Fender Telecaster Road Worn Neck MimGenuine Fender Lic.relic Tele Neck Aged Vintage Finish Nitro Telecaster 52Xgp Vintage Style Rosewood Custom Bound Neck + Fender 50s Telecaster PartsKiller Panama Soul Funk 45 Ralph Weeks & The Telecasters On Sta4r’s Hear! Fender TelecasterRare 2006 Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition Vintage Hb Telecaster Relic Fender Squier Telecaster Loaded Body - Groovy!Fender Telecaster 1994 Mim Heavy Relic Fender American Telecaster 2007 Maple Neck And Tuners Usa - BeautifulUsa Custom Guitars Telecaster Neck Custom Road Worn Modern Telecaster Distressed Stealth Esquire Electric GuitarVintage Fender Telecaster Custom Relic Partscaster Maple Neck FingerboardFender American Special Telecaster Loaded BodyNice! Electric Guitar Flame Maple Neck For Tele Fender Telecaster ReplacementFender Telecaster Japan50's Style Alder Humbucker Guitar Body Project Fits Tele*, Telecaster* Neck!!! Fender Standard Telecaster Hh Humbucker Guitar !!!Fender Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe Electric Guitar W/ Gig Bag, Exc!Florence Voodoo Te-60 Telecaster Bridge Pickup - Rated 7.8kFender Telecaster Custom Squire Electric GuitarFender Japan 52 Telecaster (tl52) - Mint Condition!Vintage 1973 Fender Telecaster Bridge Pickup Grey Bottom Original 6.23k Old PartFender American Elite Strat Tele Abs Hardshell Case Usa Stratocaster Telecaster2011 Fender American Standard Telecaster Tele Neck & Tuners Usa MapleLoaded Telecaster Body Light RelicFender TelecasterGenuine Fender Lic Relic Tele Neck Aged Finish Nitro Telecaster 69-70's F TunersSurfleaf Telecaster Style Nitro Finish Guitar BodyFender Abs Molded Case For Stratocaster Telecaster Strat Tele ExcellentFender Classic Player Baja Telecaster Electric GuitarRare 2000 Fender Standard Telecaster Body Plum Crazy PurpleSquier By Fender Affinity Telecaster Electric Guitar Older 1980's Telecaster Style Guitar Neck Ebony Fretboard Nice Quality Part NrFender Eric Johnson Stratocaster Case Fender Tele Hardshell Guitar Case No Rzv!Telecaster Style Partscaster Mjt Rio Grande Muy Grande Fender Emerson Tusq NutFender Classic Series '72 Telecaster Deluxe BlackFender Modern Player TelecasterSeymour Duncan Quarter Pound Tele Bridge Pickup Fender Telecaster