A Brief History of Fender Guitars
By Michael Casamento
Perhaps no other guitar maker has touched the hearts of so many players and collectors as Fender. By producing excellent guitars at reasonable prices, Fender has been the instrument of choice for many guitarists throughout the world.
Both the famous and not so famous have relied on Fender guitars to define their signature sounds.
The Fender company was founded by Leo Fender, and produced its first solid body electric guitar in 1951. This guitar was called the Telecaster, and was soon followed by the Precision Bass, and the legendary Stratocaster in 1954.
Over the years many changes would take place at Fender which had a great impact on the types and quality of instruments they produced.
The first “mile-stone” year for Fender came in 1965. During this year, Fender was bought by corporate giant CBS. Quality began to decline during CBS’s reign, and although Fender still remained popular among players, CBS lacked the commitment and understanding necessary to satisfy the needs of serious musicians.
As a result, the guitars produced during the “Pre-CBS” era would become prized collectors items demanding large sums of money in the vintage guitar market.
In 1985 Fender enjoyed another “mile-stone” year as a group of employees purchased the company back from CBS. For the first time in 20 years Fender was in the hands of musicians and artisans committed to producing world class guitars. A new manufacturing facility was built in Corona California to handle the production of USA made guitars.
In 1987 the Fender Custom Shop was established, reaffirming the company’s dedication to producing top quality guitars, and catering to the needs of top musicians.
From 1985 to the present day, Fender has been steadily expanding its operations within the United States and abroad. The company now produces a vast array of musical products from strings to mixing boards.
In spight of such massive growth, Fender’s commitment to the production of quality guitars remains very high. Fender remains one of the few companies that can successfully provide quality products to both the “budget conscious” and “price no object” musicians.
© Michael Casamento, the founder of Guitar Pages Online – a comprehensive resource for guitars and guitar related merchandise on the Internet.