Fred Newell, Nashville Now, and the TNN Telecaster - Ask Zac 77

April 17, 2020

Fred Newell is best known for his decade-long position as the lead guitarist on Nashville Now, the hugely popular flagship show of TNN, The Nashville Network. Few are aware of all the sessions he played on that were huge hits for Alabama, George Strait, Jerry Reed, and The Kendalls. In this episode, I cover his early days, move to Nashville, session career, decade on Nashville Now, and his switch to pedal steel guitar and tours with Waylon Jennings. I also take a look at his iconic red-neck Tele that was silkscreened with the TNN logo, and was heavily featured during the run of the show from 1983-1993.

The TNN Telecaster

The TNN Tele


The Back

Fred and the builder's signatures. Schaller tuners.

Nobease knobs! Note selector switch tip has been pained white to match. Stock Fender bridge and pickup circa 70s.

Standard Tele wiring. Note the shielded wiring, and black shielding paint in the cavity to help with single coil noise.

Circa 1983 DiMarzio body. Yes, they made bodies, necks, and hardware during this time period.

DiMarzio 57-V shaped Tele neck. Great feeling neck.

Neck Date

ESP neck plate. One of the few guys to get a plate from in the early 80s.

Fred with his custom Howard Roberts with Trini Lopez neck, and fancy banjo inlays.

Fred and John Stokes with an early Jerry Jones guitar/bass 6 double-neck

Fred on Banjo, Stokes on his Glaser Tele.

Peavey Generation

Fred's Hamer guitar