Clarence “Leo” Fender To Receive Technical Grammy Award

February 6, 2009

Fender Musical Instruments Corp. (FMIC) is pleased to announce 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. 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 Sunday, 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 Grammy photo

Photo by Bob Perine

In a recent release, the Recording Academy noted that the Technical GRAMMY Award recipients are determined by vote of the Recording Academy’s Producers & Engineers Wing Advisory Council and Chapter Committees as well as the Recording Academy’s Trustees. The award is presented to individuals and companies who have made contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field.

Leo Fender was born on August 10, 1909 and 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, which transformed popular music; 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 pursued other musical interests until his death on March 21, 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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