A number of Stratocaster prototypes were built in 1954 with widely varying specs. Full production officially began in October when the final design was nailed down. In addition to a new highly contoured body shape, Fender launched the Stratocaster with an innovative tremolo system and "two-tone" sunburst finish. The earliest era Stratocasters used a wide D-shaped neck profile and a heavier Ash body.
From 1954 to 1958 some key changes had occurred. As of mid-'56, Alder was the main body wood used, though rarer blonde Stratocaster still used Ash. Components such as the string trees, tremolo system, and knobs continued to evolve, while the neck profile changed to more of a V-shape.
In 1958, the sunburst finish switched from "two-tone" to "three-tone" with striking red hues added along with the black and yellow. The other major change was a shift from a thicker V-shaped neck profile to a thinner D profile that would evolve as the year went on.
About halfway through 1959, Fender introduced a "slab" rosewood fingerboard attached on-top of the maple neck on most of its models (this lasted until 1962 when a thinner "veneer" style fretboard was introduced). 1959 also marked the shift from a single-ply white pick-guard to a three-ply white-black-white celluloid nitrate pick-guard. Over time, the composition of these pick guards lends a greenish tint which varies depending on exposure to light.
Smokin' Joe Kubek (November 30, 1956 – October 11, 2015) was an American Texas blues electric guitarist, songwriter and performer. Smokin' Joe Kubek and Bnois King, were one of the most talented guitar tandems in any genre and have been playing together for twenty-five years. They developed into a dynamic musical tour de force, with Joe's flame-throwing guitar work complemented by Bnois' cool, jazz-inflected playing and soulful vocals. Their incendiary live shows feature two top flight guitarists intuitively locked in with each other and backed by a firepower rhythm section, making for a powerful and irresistible combination.
This guitar was owned by Smokin' Joe Kubek in the beginning of his career. It is a 1st year Fender 1959 "slab" rosewood fingerboard, but still with the single-ply white pick-guard. This is a rare Fender pencil dated body with a 7/59 as date.
This guitar remains all original but volume pot and a Jumbo Refret neck.
This Stratocaster was used on albums, gigs, concerts, ...