LEO FENDER To Receive Technical Grammy Award

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 4, 2009 at 4:53 PM

The Recording Academy will honor Clarence "Leo" Fender with a Technical Grammy Award during a special invitation-only ceremony to be held during Grammy Week on Sat., Feb. 7, 2009. The award is presented to individuals and companies who have made contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field. A formal announcement will also be made during the 51st Annual Grammy Awards telecast, which will be held at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sun., Feb. 8, 2009, and broadcast live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network. Fender’s widow, Phyllis Fender, will accept the award on his behalf.

Leo Fender founded the Fender Electric Instrument Company in 1946. From 1950 to 1954, he spearheaded the most potent creative surge in the history of electrical instrument manufacturing. He designed the first commercially successful solidbody guitar, the Telecaster; invented the modern electric Precision bass guitar; and introduced the most influential of all electric guitars, the Stratocaster. His amplifiers set the gold standard for tone and reliability against which virtually all amps are judged to this day.

After leaving Fender in 1970, he designed guitars, basses, and amps for Music Man, including the innovative StingRay bass, which was the first production bass to feature active electronics. Then in 1979, he teamed with George Fullerton and Dale Hyatt to start G&L Musical Products, which produced such highly regarded guitar models as the ASAT and Comanche. Fender remained involved in the musical instrument industry until his death, in 1991.

"Fender Musical Instruments Corporation would not be the company we are today without Leo Fender's legendary achievements," said Bill Mendello, chairman and chief executive officer of FMIC.  "But more importantly, the world would not be the same without him. His contributions to popular music are immeasurable: by providing musicians with new and innovative instruments to create and amplify their music, Fender helped shape the way we hear music, subsequently leading to the advent of new genres of music altogether."

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