James Jamerson

The B List: Top 10 Fender Guitarists

Once again it’s time for a special guest to take the reigns of the B List. This week, guitar-maker Andrew Olson of AO Guitars shares a list of his favorite Fender players. AO Guitars makes high-quality instruments for the discerning musician…

Hey everybody! I can’t say how thrilled I am to be back on the B List for a second edition of AO’s Top 10. If you recall the last one, I delved into my Top 10 Axes of all time, where I mentioned that I could have done an entire list on just Fenders and not even mentioned another guitar. Well, welcome to my list of Top 10 Fender Players. Screw the Gibsons, Guilds and small builders out there (for this Top 10, at least) and let’s look at some of the greatest players of all time who’ve adorned the work of the great Leo Fender. Beginning with the Telecaster and Precision Bass in 1951, and the first Stratocaster in 1954, Leo Fender’s genius paved the way for the small rock combo, changing popular music forever.

Now, we all know the real big guys…Hendrix, SRV, Clapton, and Jeff Beck to name a few—I don’t even need to put them on this list. I’m going for some of the unsung heroes that you might not hear every day, or to even turn you on to some you may never have heard of. Enjoy!

10. Steve “The Colonel” Cropper & Donald “Duck” Dunn

OK, I’m cheating and starting you off with a deuce, being that they were a pair for a very long time. If these names don’t sound familiar, trust me, you’ve heard them many, many times. You’ve seen Steve with his trusty Telecaster in the SNL Band and the Blues Brothers, and Duck is always sporting that P-Bass. You’ve heard them in the rhythm section of Booker T & The MGs. They were the session guys at the legendary Stax Records, meaning you’ve heard them on countless classics that Steve usually helped pen: Wilson Pickett’s In the Midnight Hour, Sam & Dave’s Soul Man, and my favorite tune in the world, Otis Redding’s (Sittin On) The Dock Of the Bay. (Suggested listening: The Blues Brothers Soundtrack and any of the original albums & Booker T & The MGs’ McLemore Avenue…which is an instrumental cover of Abbey Road)

READ ON for AO’s top nine Fender axemen of all-time…

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