Fender Stratocaster History!
Historical Facts on the Strat Guitar!
Fender Stratocaster history is filled with as many twists and turns as the lives of the musicians who use these iconic electric guitars.
The instrument established itself as an industry leader early on, and has been among the best ever since.
Designed by company namesake Leo Fender along with Freddie Travers and George Fullerton, no guitar model has achieved more success or become more respected among musicians than the Strat.
First produced in 1954, the mid-1956 switch from an ash body to one made of alder established the Stratocaster’s clean and bright -- almost twangy -- sound.
Buddy Holly was among the first to adopt the Stratocaster as his primary instrument.
Holly’s appearance with his Strat on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1957 is credited with bringing the guitar model to the attention of many musicians.
Plenty of other famous names soon jumped on board the Strat wagon.
The list of notable players now includes Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix, Bonnie Raitt, Ritchie Valens, Stevie Ray Vaughn and thousands of others.
Fender Stratocaster History!
In 1965, broadcasting powerhouse CBS bought Fender Musical Instruments Corporation from Leo Fender, and that lead to what some saw as a decline in the Stratocaster’s quality.
That’s why pre-1965 Fender instruments are highly sought after by collectors and often fetch prices into the tens of thousands of dollars at auction.
Soon, however, musicians adapted to modern Strats, and a blues-led revival of the Stat carried it into the 1980s, when its popularity waned again.
CBS removed some popular features from the Stratocaster during the 1980s, but the Strat was soon to experience a revival.
The 1982 Stratocaster brought with it a significant array of upgrades, including a then-retro smaller headstock and a new-style pickup.
In 1985, Bill Schultz bought Fender from CBS. Under his leadership, the Stratocaster’s somewhat tarnished reputation regained its luster, taking this guitar model into the mainstream.
Now, a full line of Stratocaster models and vintage model reissues are available from the company.
A line of signature models -- designed to match the specific configurations of famous Stat players -- is also now in production.
Jimi Hendrix models exist alongside Ritchie Blakemore versions and Eric Clapton specials.
Like many of the musicians who play them, Fender Stratocaster history took a strange and potentially destructive turn for a few years.
With its head on straight and someone who cared looking after it, the line regained its former glory and soared to new heights.
Today, every musician respects the Strats place in musical history.
More importantly for the future, however, many guitarists still carry a couple on stage with them.
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