Jimmy Bryant - The Original Telecaster Hero - Ask Zac 93
April 17, 2020
When Leo Fender released the Broadcaster, he was laughed at by his competitors. His detractors claimed that no serious guitarist would be seen playing Fender's "boat paddle" with strings. But old Leo knew just the guitarist that could give his new plank some respect, Jimmy Bryant. What many are not aware of is that after working all day at the factory, Leo Fender would moonlight as the sound man for the popular Cliffie Stone's Hometown Jamboree show. On a break, Leo anxiously handed his new Broadcaster to Hometown guitarist, Jimmy Bryant, who was by all accounts the hottest picker in L.A. at the time. To his great delight, Bryant loved the fast action, clear tone, lack of unwanted feedback, and the comfort of Leo's new guitar. Soon Jimmy and his sparring partner, Speedy West, had their own recording contract with Capitol Records, and their first LP, with Jimmy proudly holding his Broadcaster, acted as a huge Fender add in record stores across the United States. The new Fender guitar now was seen as the one to have.
Jimmy was one of the finest guitarists in the history of American Music, and although he is not forgotten, he is often underappreciated. With this episode, I will do my best to rectify that with a healthy dose of his story, and a look at the gear he used to create his decidedly "Fender" tone.In the video, I spotlight how his use of the Broadcaster, 12-52 pure nickel strings, jazz picks, and an early "woody" Fender Pro influenced his sound. Also, I discuss the blend control, and how Broadcaster wiring was different than what was later used on the Telecaster.
Gear for this video:
1957 Fender Esquire with an added neck pickup. Restoration and aging on the body by Dan "Danocaster" Strain. Bridge pickup re-wind by Ron Ellis
Strings: D'Addario Pure Nickle 10-45
Pick: D'Andrea Medium Heavy
Amp:1959 Fender Super