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TOPIC: guitar

Society

Why Classic Fender Guitars Are Striking A Chord With Gen Z

With the electric guitar in full revival thanks to the pandemic, the mythical Fender brand is reviving the glory days of rock and roll stars. Taking advantage of free time during lockdown, many Americans discovered their passion for the classic six-string.

CORONA — Kurt Cobain died 28 years ago, but you can still buy his favorite guitar. To mark the 30th anniversary of Nirvana’s classic album “Nevermind” last year, Fender reissued the so-called Jag-Stang. Fender invented the instrument in 1994 at Cobain's request by combining two different electric guitars, the Jaguar and the Mustang.

Or do you prefer The Pretenders to Nirvana? A brand new replica of lead singer and guitarist Chrissie Hynde's light blue 1965 Telecaster is also available. And if you still admire Eric Clapton (in spite of his anti-vaccine statements), you should know that his black Stratocaster, nicknamed "Blackie," is still made in Fender's California factory.

Founded in 1946 — also the year David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Robert Fripp (King Crimson) and Robby Krieger (The Doors) were born — Fender Musical Instruments Corporation has just celebrated its 75th anniversary in an impressive shape. Its sales increased by 30% last year, and the turnover of the first American manufacturer of musical instruments should exceed $800 million for the first time in its history. Another sign that its products are in demand: the company raised its prices by an average of 10% last year.

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Oui-Haw! American Country Music Has Global Appeal

Some might ask: Why is there such a thing as International Country Music Day? Turns out the American musical genre has pockets of popularity around the world, from twanging sounds in Japan to South Africa to line dancing in France.

PARIS — To the rest of the world, there may be nothing more American than singers with acoustic guitars crooning about beer, trucks and Southern living. But the longstanding genre has had surprising relevance faraway countries. Academic papers have even been penned on why these cultural symbols — so specific to the Yankee experience — have such global appeal.

The examples abound of the traveling power of this popular music genre that blends folk, blues slavery-era spirituals and Southern gospel. One famous story recounts that during his time as a political prisoner, South Africa's Nelson Mandela was allowed to play one song over the loudspeakers. What tune did he pick? The Dolly Parton classic "Jolene," in which the Tennessee icon pleads with another woman not to take her man.

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"Godfather Of World Music" Ravi Shankar Dies At 92

REUTERS INDIA, TIMES OF INDIA (India), BBC NEWS (UK)

Worldcrunch

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