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Leo Fender to be honoured with Grammy award

Published: Mon December 29, 2008  News Feed

The inventor of the Fender guitars is set to receive a lifetime achievement award at the 2009 Grammys.

Leo Fender

Leo Fender and some of his inventions.

Clarence "Leo" Fender (born August 10, 1909) will be remembered with a technical award. In  1992 Leo Fender - the inventor of the Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster and other popular guitars and amplifiers, was inducted to the Rock'N'Roll Hall Of Fame. His importance to music can't be underestimated.

Here's what the Hall Of Fame says of Leo Fender on their website:

"It’s safe to say there would be no such thing as rock and roll without its distinctive instrumentation. To put it another way, rock and roll as we know it could not exist without Leo Fender, inventor of the first solid-body electric guitar to be mass-produced: the Fender Broadcaster. Fender’s instruments - which also include the Stratocaster, the Precision bass (the first electric bass) and some of the music world’s most coveted amplifiers - revolutionized popular music in general and rock and roll in particular.

Leo Fender was born in 1909 near Anaheim, California, not far from the future site of his guitar factory. He was an electronics enthusiast and radio repairman who got involved with guitar design after guitar-playing customers kept bringing him their external pickups for repair. Before Fender came along, guitarists met their amplification needs by attaching pickups to the surface of their hollow-bodied instruments. While the question of who designed the first successful solid-body guitar is still being debated, Fender was the first to successfully design and market such an instrument with the introduction of the Broadcaster in 1948. Renamed the Telecaster two years later, Fender’s creation remains a mainstay of country and rock musicians who like its clean, biting sound.

His Precision bass, introduced in 1950, brought a new sound and flexibility to the rhythm section of bands, liberating the bassist from cumbersome standup instruments. The bass-driven soul music of Motown and Stax would have been inconceivable without Fender’s handiwork. In 1954, Fender introduced the Stratocaster, a flashier instrument featuring a contoured, double-cutaway body, three (as opposed to two) single-coil pickups and a revolutionary string-bending (tremolo) unit. Fender’s Strat has been the favored model of such virtuosic rock guitarists as Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan.”

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