Musical legend, Les Paul dies in New York

August 13, 2009

[Chattahbox] Les Paul, the pioneering guitarist and inventor whose creative flair revolutionized both the sound of the guitar and recording itself has died in New York from pneumonia. He was 94.

Born Lester William Polfuss, on June 9, 1915 in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Paul began his performing career as a country musician with stars such as Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole. But a deep frustration at the limited scope of contemporary instruments compelled him to create an entirely new form of guitar that has since become the de facto choice for countless musicians since its impressive debut in 1952.

Another of Paul’s groundbreaking creations was multi-track recording, which enabled artists to blend different recordings and even harmonize with  themselves – creative techniques which were unimagined until Les turned his mind to their need. His new method made its worldwide debut in his own number one hit, ‘How High the Moon,’ a duet with his wife, Mary Ford, that was released by Capitol Records in late 1950.

Mr. Paul’s influence on modern-day music and the ways it is captured are hard to describe, but Dave Berryman, president of ‘Gibson’ who built and sold his guitars told the BBC, “Les was not only one of the world’s greatest innovators but a legend who contributed to the success of musicians around the world.”

As reward for his rare contribution to the creation of music, Les Paul was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1978 and the ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ Hall of Fame in 1988.

He and wife, Mary, divorced in 1964, but his family and friends were at his bedside in White Plains when Les left this world early today. Funeral arrangements are now pending.


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11 Responses to “Musical legend, Les Paul dies in New York”

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