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    

1978 Vintage Fender Telecaster Guitar Body Original Usa Olympic White TeleFender Custom Shop 1959 Telecaster Journeyman Relic Surf Green1968 Fender Telecaster 2 Color Burst - Double BoundRare: Bill Nash 2009 T-52 Cowboy Telecaster Guitar Custom Ordered Fender-esque2016 Nash Guitars T-52 Telecaster Butterscotch Relic W Case No ReserveEarly Fender James Burton Telecaster Excellent ConditionFender American Deluxe Telecaster1999 Fender American Standard Telecaster Natural Ash With Rosewood FretboardFender Telecaster American Standard Made In Usa With Case And Dimarzio Pickups!Ron Kirn Barnbuster TelecasterFender American Standard Telecaster Black, Very Fine Shape In Ohsc2011 Fender Telecaster Usa Electric Guitar W/hard Shell CaseVintage Fender Telecaster W/fender Bigsby TremeloFender '72 Telecaster Deluxe Black Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar Sold As Is2010 Fender American Telecaster Inca Silver Mint Condition No Reserve AuctionFender Classic 72 Telecaster Thinline Upgraded Locking Tuners And Strap Locks!!Fender '72 Telecaster Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar With Skg Case2000 Fender Standard Telecaster Electric Guitar Mim TeleSwamp Ash! Semi Loaded B Bender Tele Telecaster Body! No Reserve!Squier By Fender Telecaster Electric Guitar - Made In Japan - Pre OwnedFender Nashville Deluxe Telecaster Sunburst Nice Free Shipping Fender 2003 Telecaster 69 Thinline Special, Mahogany Flamed, No Reserve!1974 Aria Telecaster Bass2017 Fender Telecaster Race Green Mim Maple Fretboard W Hercules Stand & Gig BagFender Tl62b-100btx Car (ferrari Red) Telecaster W/bigsby 2004 Japan 2003 Fender Telecaster Mim Deluxe SeriesFender Modern Player Telecaster PlusLefty! Left Handed Semi Loaded B Bender Telecaster Tele Body - No Reserve!Fender American Telecaster Body - Lake Placid Blue, With HardwareSquier 1 Bullet By Fender Telecaster Tele Guitar Korea W/tremolo + Wt Soft CaseRelic Fender Blonde Nitrocellulose Telecaster BodyFender Squire Avril Levigne Custom Telecaster -blackBlack Squier Telecaster Electric GuitarFender Classic Series 72 Telecaster Tele Deluxe Pickguard W/ Wide Range PickupsGuitar Body Fits Telecaster Style Neck Pickup Flame Maple TopFender Classic Series '50s Telecaster BodyFender Telecaster Control Plate And Crl1452 Switch 1960 1966 1969 1968Seymour Duncan Antiquity 55 Tele Bridge Telecaster Fender Usa Black Tolex Stratocaster Or Telecaster Hardshell CaseFender Telecaster Electric Guitar Body Candy Apple Red Tele Project No Reserve Fender Custom Shop Telecaster Vintage Tolex G&g Hardshell Case Tele Red InteriorMighty Mite 22-fret Telecaster-style Electric Guitar Replacement/project NeckGuitar Body Telecaster Style Ructic/reclaimed/barncaster/cedarcasterStock 50s Style Telecaster / Tele Maple Neck Vintage SeriesTelecaster Loaded Tele Body Guitar Vintage Light Cream YellowSeymour Duncan Seymour Duncanst59-1 Little 59 Telecaster Pickup 4.5Fender Squire Telecaster Made In Indonesia 2008- 2009 And Accessories Bundle.Fender Squier Affinity Telecaster Maple Neck Loaded Fender Telecaster Classic 72 Deluxe Thinline Wide Range Bridge Humbucker PickupFender N3 Noiseless Telecaster Bridge Pickup Seymour Duncan Stl-1 Vintage '54 Telecaster Bridge Pickup - Black-free 2 Day!Used Emg T-set Active Telecaster Pickups In Black With Wiring HarnessSeymour Duncan Neck Pickup Telecaster Aptr1Fender American Elite Strat Tele Abs Hardshell Case Usa Stratocaster Telecaster1975 Fender Telecaster Jaguar Precision Jazz Bass Vintage Neck PlateTelecaster Vintage/modern Bridge String Hole Drilling Guide Usa Luthier Made 1960s/1970s? Fender Telecaster Bridge Pickup Guitar Body Telecaster Style Rustic/reclaimed/barncaster/cedarcaster1999 Fender American Tele Bridge Pickup - 90's Usa Telecaster Electric GuitarGenuine 1999 Fender American Tele Neck Pickup 90s Usa Telecaster Electric Guitar