Thursday, August 13, 2009

Les Paul: 1915 - 2009

There can be no question that the musician of today owes a debt to Les Paul much greater than they may be able to imagine. When you consider the contribution made by one man and how he changed the direction of music, it boggles the mind. I doubt that one could name any legendary artist whose success would not have been possible without the innovations of Les Paul. A genius for the ages and we are fortunate to have lived to witness even a small part of his contribution. Thank you.

New York Times
Les Paul, the virtuoso guitarist and inventor whose solid-body electric guitar and recording studio innovations changed the course of 20th-century popular music, died Thursday in White Plains, N.Y. . He was 94.

The cause was complications of pneumonia, the Gibson Guitar Corporation and his family announced. .

Mr. Paul was a remarkable musician as well as a tireless tinkerer. He played guitar alongside leading prewar jazz and pop musicians from Louis Armstrong to Bing Crosby. In the 1930s he began experimenting with guitar amplification, and by 1941 he had built what was probably the first solid-body electric guitar, although there are other claimants. With his guitar and the vocals of his wife, Mary Ford, he used overdubbing, multitrack recording and new electronic effects to create a string of hits in the 1950s.

Mr. Paul’s style encompassed the twang of country music, the harmonic richness of jazz and, later, the bite of rock ’n’ roll. For all his technological impact, though, he remained a down-home performer whose main goal, he often said, was to make people happy.
Read more about Les Paul.


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