Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - 92

in '65, Leo Fender, suffering from
health issues, sold the company to
the entertainment conglomerate at the
height of the "guitar boom," a time when
makers could sell practically anything.
Corporations wanted a piece of the
action, and they absorbed nearly every
significant American guitar maker.
In '66, the Jazzmaster was given
new features including binding on the
fingerboard and pearloid-block inlays rather
than the old-school dots. There was also the
oversized "CBS" headstock.
In '65, Fender renovated its painting
facilities, and one result was that sunburst
finishes changed from a gradual brown-redyellow transition to harder edges, an effect
Jazzmaster fans call the "target" sunburst.
Jazzmasters from '66 (left) and
'59, with a Vibroverb amp.

And, while our featured guitar appears to
be a solid chunk of alder, it was, in fact,
made of five or six plies of wood, filled in
with sealer, painted with a
neutral white undercoat,
then given a woodgrain
treatment before receiving
the sunburst.
Electronics on the Jazzmaster, developed by Forrest White
(an industrial designer who
served as Fender's GM from May
of '53 to December '67), are typical
of many '60s guitars. The assumption
was that a guitarist would play in lead
and rhythm modes. The two white
knobs (Volume and Tone) controlled
the lead circuit with a three-way select.
The sliding switch above the strings
put the guitar into Rhythm mode,
controlled by the Volume and Tone
'66 Jazzmaster: Michael Wright. '59 Jazzmaster/Vibroverb: Cadillac Bob/VG Archive.

Brothers songs and Elvis' "Jailhouse
Rock" cracked the Top 20, but this
was the year of "Tammy" and "Love
Letters in the Sand." No one could
have known that '59 would bring
instrumental rock-guitar hits by
Santo and Johnny and the Virtues
("Guitar Boogie Shuffle"). In
1960, The Ventures hit the charts
with "Walk, Don't Run." Pop was
being redefined, and fast, while jazz
guitar was increasingly marginalized.
Ironically, Bob Bogle recorded
the lead on "Walk, Don't Run" - a
tune written by jazz guitarist Johnny
Smith - playing a Jazzmaster, though
the band would soon switch to Strats
and Mosrites.
Of course, while we now consider
Fender's Stratocaster an icon, there's
further irony in the fact that when
guitars began to be imported from
Europe and Japan, builders like Framus, EKO, Teisco produced models
that emulated the Jazzmaster and
Jaguar (Fender's new top-of-the-line
guitar when introduced in '62), not
the Strat.
If the Jazzmaster's respect in its
heyday came mostly from foreign
manufacturers who paid more attention to catalogs
than players, the
'66 example
seen here gets a
double whammy because it's
a CBS Fender!
Though slightly
lessened now, in
the early days of
guitar collecting,
great distinction
was made between
CBS and "preCBS" Fenders;

Vintage guitar

92

July 2016


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - Cover1
Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - Cover2
Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - 1
Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - 2
Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - 3
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Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - Contents
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Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - Cover3
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