Fender Stratocaster turns 60

Jimi Hendrix made it shriek. Buddy Holly made it swing. Stevie Ray Vaughn made it snarl.

Some of the most legendary guitarists in music history have elicited unforgettable sounds from the Fender Stratocaster, the distinctive double-cutaway guitar born in a small Fullerton, Calif., workshop 60 years ago this month.

It’s far from a musical relic: It remains an essential tool for some of today’s top guitarists. Vince Gill relies on it so much he calls it an “extension of my hands,” while blues virtuoso Robert Cray calls it a workhorse.

As shredder Yngwie Malmsteen put it: “There is no substitute.”

As this iconic guitar celebrates its 60th anniversary in April, The Associated Press takes a visual journey into the creation of the iconic guitars, and explores why it’s still a fixture on concert stages today. (AP)

(Photographs by Associated Press Photo)

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Photos of the day - April 18, 2014

An actor is silhouetted hanging on a cross during a performance in Trafalgar Square in London, wearing ghilli suits, Iranian army troops march in a parade marking National Army Day just outside Tehran and Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain drives during the first practice session of the Chinese F1 Grand Prix at the Shanghai are some of the photos of the day. (AP/Reuters)

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Bizarre vintage inventions

Ever wondered what we did before sat navs and mobile phones? Here are the bizarre vintage inventions that never caught on. A series of photographs has revealed the ingenious efforts from the first half of the 20th century that helped people manage the pressures of everyday life. From a manual sat nav to a straw hat portable radio - some have been replaced by smart phones and tablets. The old-school sat nav from 1932 included a paper map dotted with landmarks that automatically rolled as the car drove along. (CATERS)

(Photos by Mary Evans Picture Library/CATERS NEWS)

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Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A person close to the family has confirmed reports that that Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died. He was 87.
Garcia Marquez’s magical realist novels and short stories exposed tens of millions of readers to Latin America’s passion, superstition, violence and inequality. Widely considered the most popular Spanish-language writer since Miguel de Cervantes in the 17th century, Garcia Marquez achieved literary celebrity that spawned comparisons to Mark Twain and Charles Dickens. (AP)
(Photograph by Ulf Andersen/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A person close to the family has confirmed reports that that Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died. He was 87.

Garcia Marquez’s magical realist novels and short stories exposed tens of millions of readers to Latin America’s passion, superstition, violence and inequality. Widely considered the most popular Spanish-language writer since Miguel de Cervantes in the 17th century, Garcia Marquez achieved literary celebrity that spawned comparisons to Mark Twain and Charles Dickens. (AP)

(Photograph by Ulf Andersen/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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Photos of the day - April 17, 2014

Terns fight over a catch in South Korea, A diver dressed as the Easter Bunny swims among sharks, rays and other species of fish in Singapore, A woman squats as she waits in a queue to cast her vote in India and Family and schoolmates of missing passengers of the Sewol ferry accident hold candles during a vigil in South Korea are just a few of the photos of the day for April 17, 2014.

(Photos by Kim Jae-Sun/EPA, Wong Mae-E/AP Photo, Amit Dave/REUTERS, Wany Ji-Woong/EPA)

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Iran mother spares life of son’s killer in dramatic turn of events

An Iranian mother spared the life of her son’s convicted murderer with an emotional slap in the face as he awaited execution with the noose around his neck, a newspaper reported Thursday. The dramatic climax followed a rare public campaign to save the life of Balal, who at 19 killed another young man, Abdollah Hosseinzadeh, in a street fight with a knife back in 2007. (AFP)

(Photos by Araash Khamooshi/ISNA/AFP)

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Argentina tiger triplets

The Buenos Aires Zoo is showing off its latest brood of white tigers — Bengal triplets with piercing blue eyes and a playful attitude.

The two female cubs have prominent black stripes and tawny white coats, while the male is nearly pure white.

Zoo veterinarian Guillermo Weimeyer says they were born three months ago following a labor that lasted more than four hours, and will keep breastfeeding until they reach five months old, even though they are already eating a kilogram of meat a day.

This is the second set of cubs for the mother, Cleo, and father, Rhiano. Their first brood was taken to other zoos, and these cubs will likely leave as well.

A naming contest among children who visit the zoo has already begun.

Photography by Natacha Pisarenko

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Photographer Gerald Herbert

Gerald Herbert is a staff photographer for the AP based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Before that he was a staff photographer for the Washington Times, the New York Daily News and a freelancer for the AP in New Orleans, Boston and New York.

Herbert has covered local, national and international stories, including the 9/11 attacks at both the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, conflicts in the West Bank and Haiti, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the Olympics, the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals and the World Series, among others. (AP)

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Photos of the day - April 16, 2014

Young Polar bear Anori plays with his toys in the pool of their enclosure at the Zoo in Wuppertal, Penitents from ‘Las Siete Palabras’ ‘Seven words’ brotherhood take part in a procession in Spain and North Koreans are reflected in a glass case containing a pistol as they each wait for their turn at a firing range in Pyongyang are some of the photos of the day. (AP/Reuters)

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