The Fender Stratocaster Celebrates Its 60th Anniversary

It’s been called “the world’s greatest electric guitar:” The Fender Stratocaster. In 1954, Fender introduced the Stratocaster, a sleek new electric guitar with three pickups, a remarkably comfortable contoured body, an elegant sunburst finish and an ingeniously effective vibrato bridge. It was designed by Leo Fender, George Fullerton and Freddie Tavares.

Along with the Gibson Les Paul, the “Strat” is one of the most copied electric guitar shapes. Buddy Holly was one of the “Strat” pioneers. On Dec. 1st in 1957, the Stratocaster made one of its first appearances when the Crickets performs on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

In 1972, Deep Purple composed the proto-metal classic “Smoke on the Water,” for which guitarist Ritchie Blackmore created the most imitated Stratocaster riff ever.

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