End of an Era Fender Acquired by CBS Back Panel


Most students of the Fender legacy know that there are “pre-CBS” and “post-CBS” Fender instruments and amplifiers. January 1, 1965 was the effective date of the purchase of Fender Electric Instruments Co. by Columbia Broadcasting System, owner of the Columbia Records label. There would be many changes made at Fender by its new owner. But that is another story and far beyond what I am able to show here. A comparison of three back panels of pre- and post-CBS blackface Fender amps shows the early external signs of CBS ownership. For a brief time the back panel was changed from “Fender Electric Instrument Co.” to “Fender Musical Instruments, a division of Columbia Record Distribution Corp.” The use of the Columbia corporate name on the Fender amplifier products was quickly eliminated, with the simple “Fender Musical Instruments Corp.” substituted. Corporate liability lesson learned: don’t put the Columbia corporate name on high-voltage electrical equipment!

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