In early 1951 – Fender renamed its only production solid-body guitar the Telecaster, replacing the short-lived Broadcaster moniker used in late 1950. The Telecaster quickly became the guitar of its age, propelling the status of the solid-body electric guitar from novelty to the defining instrument of popular music.
Like most long-lasting guitar models, the Tele has seen its share of variations and specialty models come off the line since the early ‘50s. The standard no-frills Telecaster, however, has stayed largely the same, strutting two single-coil pickups, a slab body of Ash (or later Alder), and an unmistakable twang that helped shape the sound of country and rock music.
Like the rest of the Fender catalog, the CBS purchase of 1965 brought a series of changes to the Telecaster. Teles from 1965 onward are less desirable to collectors than earlier examples. Those from the ‘70s are generally considered the low-point of Fender quality.
Simple information for Fender Telecaster:
Years of Production: 1951 – present
Body Style: Single cutaway solid-body
Wood Composition: Ash body, Maple neck, Maple fingerboard
Design Elements: Two single-coil pickups, white pickguard, volume and tone controls, 25 1/2-inch scale length, string thur-body
Notable Tele Players: Keith Richards, Merle Haggard, Johnny Greenwood, James Burton…