That Was The Year... 1953
Eyes, communists Cat’s Grail and the Holy
HOFNER IS WORKING ON ITS
462/S acoustic archtop, affectionately known as the ‘Cat’s-Eye’ model due to its elliptical soundholes. This single-cutaway, fully bound beauty features a striking flamed maple body, selected cedar top, split trapeze tailpiece plus a pearloid scratchplate and two-tone headstock face.
THE CORONATION OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II
at Westminster Abbey sparks a buying frenzy on television sets and it‘s estimated that a quarter of British households are now in possession of one. The BBC airs the first edition of Panorama, a still-going current affairs programme, along with variety show The Good Old Days and sci-fi thriller The Quatermass Experiment.
BILL HALEY GIVES THE FIRST PERFORMANCE
of Rock Around The Clock in America and rock and roll is born. We take a while to catch on – when the Queen was crowned, Frankie Laine’s I Believe was number one in the charts. Dizzy Gillespie’s trumpet’s bell was accidentally bent upwards at Snookie’s in Manhattan, but he liked the sound so much that he had a special trumpet made with a raised bell. It becomes his trademark.
POPPING INTO EXISTENCE ARE
Tom Petty, Midge Ure, Andy Partridge, Ian Bairnson (Alan Parsons Project), Malcolm Young, Mike Oldfield, Chaka Khan, Merrill Osmond, Alex Lifeson, Cyndi Lauper, Geddy Lee, Robert Cray, Pat Benatar, Kevin Rowlands (Dexy’s), Lucinda Williams and Michael Bolton. Stepping out are Django Reinhardt and Hank Williams.
AMERICA’S FEAR OF THE COMMUNIST THREAT
is heightened as Moscow announces the successful explosion of an RDS-6 hydrogen bomb. Alleged communist Charlie Chaplin leaves America; and the armistice is signed by representatives of the United Nations, Korea and China finally bringing the three-year long Korean War to an end.
MORE THAN 1,800 PEOPLE LOSE THEIR
lives as a powerful storm breaches sea dikes in the Netherlands. It rages upon England’s east coast too, causing massing flooding and a loss of over 300 lives. Our new Queen extensively tours the stricken areas lending support to the survivors and helping to boost morale.
GUILD GUITARS BEGINS PRODUCTION AT
its new premises in Pearl Street, New York. During this first year of production the company concentrates on full-depth hollowbody electric guitars reflecting Al Dronge’s passion for jazz! Meanwhile, Gibson deems it’s time to pull the plug on its ES-300 model.
INADVERTENTLY FENDER PRODUCES WHAT
becomes the most sought-after Telecaster in years to come. A 1953 ‘blackguard’ Tele is Holy Grail to collectors. The ensuing three years in which to perfect the model added up to this exceptional Telecaster. Even then it had a list price of $189.50.