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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Village news July 24Northamptonshire Telegraph, July 24th
This year the guitar is awarded to Derri Mutch McDonald who has just passed grade 3 Rockschool with 'MERIT'. Well done Derri. The 'Golden Telecaster' award goes to Ben Fairhurst who passed his Grade 1 with MERIT and Brian May from Queen gave us a ...Read more
Sarah McLachlanMetroland, July 23rd
And handed them the mic. But the couch wasn't the only surprise accessory on this trip. She also brought a pale yellow Telecaster, which is what she wore when she followed her four-piece band on stage to greet a gentle crowd on a warm Wednesday night...Read more
Check out the James Burton guitar festival lineupShreveport Times, July 23rd
Burton — long known as the “Master of the Telecaster” — will join some of the music industry's best in a James Burton & Friends Concert. Past concerts brought in thousands of visitors from all over the world, and this event is planned to be bigger...Read more
Marcus King Band Kicks Off Weekend At 185 King St. – Brevard NCThe Transylvania Times, July 23rd
The band has down home three-part harmonies, a mutual love of songwriting, and a wide array of instrumentation, including the Canjo (a washboard percussion experiment), upright bass, telecaster guitar, drums, dobro, banjo, and mandolin. In February...Read more
Local blues king holds sway Monday nightsShreveport Times, July 23rd
Best known for the soulful work he delivered from a now long-disappeared bright-red Gibson ES-335 hollow-body guitar, Beach has transitioned over the years to a custom-built Telecaster. Age, the heart attacks and a lifelong love affair with cancer...Read more
Football: English giants embrace America's growing love of gameNew Zealand Herald, July 22nd
More than 31 million people watched Premier League matches as part of a US$250 million ($288 million) deal last season under a US TV contract with US Olympic telecaster NBC and World Cup ratings were strong in America even beyond the US squad's ...Read more
Tele Servo Bender emulates a lap steel sound using servosGizmag, July 10th
He first tested his idea for a servo-activated detune using a simple setup of a spare neck bolted onto a piece of ply, the Arduino, an analog servo and a breadboard, before starting work on routing the cavities in a Telecaster-shaped body. He bought a...Read more
Mod Garage: Adding an Out-of-Phase Switch to a TelecasterPremier Guitar, June 27th
Now that we've investigated the Telecaster's bridge and neck pickups individually, it's time to have some fun with both pickups together. Are you ready to learn how to get out-of-phase sounds from a Tele? In this column we'll cover the electrically out...Read more