The Telecaster may not be the most exciting guitar when comparing it to all the modern technological advances found in guitars these days, but the Telecaster was the revolutionary guitar that changed the game (or started it!)
The Telecaster was the first commercially sold solid-body electric guitar ever manufactured and set the benchmark for electric guitars. It's simplicity certainly has its charm and its unique design has made itself one of the most popular & well known electric guitars for over 70 years. So how and why did it take the spotlight?
Alright team, jump in your DeLoreon and let's go back to the 1940s. World War II had just drawn to a close. Money was tight and musical stylings were changing. Guitarists were looking for an inexpensive instrument that didn't have the problems of the electric hollow body guitar or jazz box which, as we all know, can be susceptible to excessive noise/feedback and can't always cut through in a big band over similar stringed instruments. Leo Fender had been in discussions with guitarists about these troubles and was ready to come up with a solution.
The original blueprints strongly leant on the design of the lap-steel guitar and the goal was to replicate its tone. To ensure this was done correctly, Leo Fender employed luthier Clayton "Doc" Kauffman, an experienced lap steel developer in 1944 to create what we now know as the Telecaster. Over the next 4 years the "Spanish-Style" solid-body would undergo several prototypes before going up for patent in 1948. In 1950 the Esquire made its public debut at the NAMM show. It was received very well, although the public made quick note that the guitar lacked a truss rod. This was quickly changed by Fender and was featured in the all new incarnation of the guitar, the Broadcaster.
The Broadcaster was introduced in Autumn of 1950 and featured an adjustable truss rod (who doesn't love a company who listens?!), an additional pickup located at the neck position and a 3-way-switch to allow for extra tone control as well as some other minor changes. At the start of 1951, Fender received legal notice from Gretsch that this was a copyright infringement on their drum kit of the same name (Broadkaster). Fender instantly took the name "Broadcaster" off the headstocks to leave a nameless guitar in production for just over half a year. These guitars have been referred to as "Nocasters" and are a very unique part of the companies history. Don Randall, Fender's marketing guru, then created the name "Telecaster" after inspiration for a new invention sweeping America, the television. Although not formally introduced until 1952, there was a small batch of Telecaster labelled guitars produced at the tail end of 1951 which are some of the rarest Fender guitars in history.
The Telecaster was at the front of the Country and Western Swing movements and have become an iconic sound used by the biggest and most influential artists in the world. From Jeff Beck’s blistering guitar on the Yardbirds to the thundering rock anthems of Bruce Springsteen, the Telecaster is the preferred guitar for artists world wide.
As Fender continues to grow, so does the Telecaster.
Many models are available these days from vintage spec to modern features. There is an option to please just about anyone and we are ready to help you find your perfect Telecaster.
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