Fender - Limited Edition American Original 50’s Strat - Mary Kaye White Blonde

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Strictly Ltd Edition American Original 50’s Strat in “Mary Kaye” White Blonde Nitro Cellulose Finish and Gold Hardware. Vintage Style Tweed Hard Shell Case included.

FEATURES

  • Alder or ash body (White Blonde only) with lacquer finish
  • Three Pure Vintage ‘59 single-coil Stratocaster pickups
  • Thick “Soft V”-shaped neck profile; 9.5”-radius fingerboard
  • Vintage-style hardware; six-point synchronized tremolo bridge
  • Includes vintage-style hardshell case

Of all the rare, sought after custom model guitars introduced by Fender over the decades, few have inspired the kind of cult following that the “Mary Kaye” Stratocaster has. The translucent white, mid-‘50s Strat, with its maple neck and distinctive gold hardware takes its name from legendary guitarist and Las Vegas performer, Mary Kaye.

Known as the “First Lady of Rock and Roll” for her guitar-driven, calypso-tinged, swing music, Kaye was a musical innovator who helped pioneer Vegas lounge music. Although, one of the most surprising aspects of the story of the “Mary Kaye” Strat, is that Kaye never really owned, and rarely played, the guitar that informally bears her name.

So just why is the distinctive ash blonde Strat with the gold hardware known as the “Mary Kaye” Stratocaster?

The answer lies in a 1956 Fender promotional photo of Kaye and her Mary Kaye Trio bandmates, Frank Ross and Norman Kaye. In the photo, which was shot between sets at the band’s Vegas lounge residency, Kaye can be seen brandishing the distinct white Strat that she would become forever associated with. But the guitar didn’t belong to her. At the time, she actually favored custom D’Angelicos.
The unique white guitar Kaye is seen with in the photo was actually the first custom Fender Stratocaster ever produced – a sort of forerunner to today’s Custom Shop models. Assembled in 1956, the guitar was the first model Fender issued in this particular color scheme.

Although Kaye continued to wield D’Angelicos in her Vegas act, the image of her with the guitar was syndicated worldwide via ads in musicians’ magazines. And while Kaye never actually owned the guitar, the photo wasn’t the only time she was seen using it.

Fender president Don Randall loaned Kaye the guitar again for the Mary Kaye Trio’s appearance in the film Cha Cha Cha Boom! Images of Kaye with the guitar were circulated in movie posters and lobby cards promoting the 1956 musical, in which Kaye appears as herself.

So although Kaye only used the translucent white Strat twice during her heyday with the Mary Kaye Trio, the images of her with the guitar somehow struck a chord with guitarists that persists to this day.

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Product Details

Product Specs

Model Name
LE AM ORIG 50S STRAT MN MARY

Model #
0110114801

Series
American Original

Country Of Origin
US

Color
Mary Kaye White Blonde

Body
Ash

Body Finish
Gloss Nitrocellulose Lacquer

Body Shape
Stratocaster®

Neck Material
Maple

Neck Finish
Gloss Nitrocellulose Lacquer

Neck Shape
Soft “V”

Scale Length
25.5” (648 mm)

Fingerboard
Maple

Fingerboard Radius
9.5” (241 mm)

Number of Frets
21

Frets Size
Vintage Tall

String Nut
Bone

Nut Width
1.650” (42 mm)

Position Inlays
Black Dot

Truss Rods
Vintage-Style Butt Adjust

Bridge Pickup
Pure Vintage ‘59 Single-Coil Strat®

Middle Pickup
Pure Vintage ‘59 Single-Coil Strat®

Neck Pickup
Pure Vintage ‘59 Single-Coil Strat®

Controls
Master Volume, Tone 1. (Neck Pickup), Tone 2. (Bridge/Middle Pickup)

Pickup Switching
5-Position Blade: Position 1. Bridge Pickup Position 2. Bridge and Middle Pickup Position 3. Middle Pickup Position 4. Middle and Neck Pickup Position 5. Neck Pickup

Pickup Configuration
SSS

Bridge
Pure Vintage 6-Saddle Synchronized Tremolo

Hardware Finish
Gold-Plated

Tuning Machines
Pure Vintage Single Line “Fender Deluxe”

Pickguard
1-Ply Eggshell

Control Knobs
Aged White Plastic

Strings
Fender® USA 250R Nickel Plated Steel (.010-.046 Gauges), PN 0730250406

Dimensions
6.40x17.40x43.80 IN

Weight
23.00 LB