If you’re an electric guitarist or a Fender enthusiast, you’re most likely familiar with the name Abigail Ybarra, endearingly referred to as “Abby.”
Personally hired as a pickup winder by Leo Fender in 1956, Abby has been creating some of the most recognizable guitar tones in history. When you think about the sounds of Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, James Burton, and Erics Clapton and Johnson, you’re hearing Abby’s work in action.
I had the pleasure of working with Abby on numerous occasions for media tours and media interviews. Although camera shy, Abby always shined and instantly captivated viewers with her soft tone and personality.
One of my most memorable experiences with Abby is managing her interview with NBC Latino, where the reporter asked her if she played guitar. Her quick and witty response was “I can build a guitar; I can’t play it. Leo [Fender] couldn’t play it either, so I don’t feel too bad.”
Although she most certainly deserves her hard-earned retirement, Abby will be sorely missed by her Fender family.
Te queremos, Abby!! Thank you for your enormous contributions to music.
Watch her interview with NBC Latino below: