Google is celebrating Les Paul's birthday today. Who was he? Well, he was an inventor and musician, known for several things: inventing a new style of guitar for rock and roll, experimenting with and creating new sounds for guitar, experimenting with electronics and music, and composing and performing songs.
Wow. he was both talented and busy!
Here are some interesting facts:
- Paul could not read music and played by ear.
- He started as a jazz guitarist, but also played country and even had a country act with the stage name Rhubarb Red.
- He eventually formed a duo with his wife Mary Ford recording a string of pop hits in the 50s.
- His experiments with guitar licks, trills, chording sequences, and fretting techniques, pushed guitar music forward by leaps and bounds.
- He did the same for the recording industry with his experiments in overdubbing, phasing effects, tape delay, and more.
- He invented the neck-worn harmonica holder.
- He was in an automobile accident in 1948, and instead of amputating his right arm, they set it at a right angle so he could continue to play guitar.
- In the early 50s, he invented, along with Gibson Guitar President Ted McCarty, a solid-body electric guitar that is still popular. It is named the Gibson Les Paul
- Paul's real name was Lester William Polsfuss.
- He died in 2009 of pneumonia at the age of 94.
Here is his Wiki Page; Here are Books about and by him. Various videos on YouTube, including a full-length documentary called Les Paul: Chasing Sound.
Source Articles: Les Paul Online: Bio; Les Paul Wikepedia; Les Paul Biography.