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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

ALL ABOUT… FREDDIE TAVARES

Musician, inventor, and a huge figure in Fender’s history. Huw Price celebrates the life and times of Leo’s greatest sideman…

HISTORY

Even if you’ve never heard of Freddie Tavares, you’ve almost certainly heard him. That was Freddie playing the iconic pedal-steel glissando at the start of the Looney Tunes theme tune in 1942, and he can also be heard strumming the ukulele on Elvis Presley’s Blue Hawaii. But there was much more to him than that.

Freddie Tavares was a Hawaiian designer, engineer and multi-instrumentalist who also played for Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, The Andrews Sisters, Henry Mancini and Lawrence Welk among countless others. What’s more, he was also a key figure behind the scenes at Fender across four decades.

MAN OF STEEL

Frederick Theodore Tavares was born on Maui Island, Hawaii, 18 February 1913. He began singing early on and when he was 12, Freddie’s eldest brother gave him a guitar. He clearly had natural ability because three years later he landed the rhythm guitar chair in Mary Kunewa’s orchestra. Having finished school, Freddie moved to Oahu, playing guitar three nights per week in Larry Bellis’ dance orchestra at the Alexander Young hotel. Soon after, Harry Owens off ered Freddie the chance to play electric steel with the dance orchestra of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Waikiki.

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About The Guitar Magazine

What do we think about the most talked-about guitar of the year? Find out in our May 2018 issue, on sale now. Inside, we sit down with Paul Reed Smith to talk out about the two-year design process that gave birth to the Silver Sky and we put John Mayer’s new PRS signature model through its paces in an in-depth 10-page review. The magazine also comes bundled with a FREE Joy Of FX magazine for every reader that includes reviews of Fender’s new-for-2018 stompbox line, new EarthQuaker Devices pedals, an interview with Way Huge pedal guru Jeorge Tripps and more. Back in the main mag, we get up close and personal with Eric Clapton’s £25,000 writing and recording acoustic, check out The Temperance Movement’s live gear, interview Steve Morse and review even more hot new guitars, amps and effects from Eastman, Blackstar, JHS Pedals, Lowden and plenty more besides. We also salute the genius of Freddie Tavares and you can enter our competition to WIN a drop-dead gorgeous Lake Placid Blue Fender American Original ‘60s Telecaster worth £1,659. The May 2018 issue of The Guitar Magazine is on sale in print and digital formats now. Essential reading for guitar addicts.