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Thursday, August 13, 2009

in memoriam...

Les Paul, father of electric guitar, dies at 94...

Guitar legend Les Paul plays at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York in February 2007.
Guitar legend Les Paul plays at
the Iridium Jazz Club
in New York in February 2007.

(Colin Archer/Associated Press)

Guitar legend Les Paul has died of complications from pneumonia, his family announced.

He was 94.

He died Thursday, at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, N.Y., with his family at his side.

Paul is considered the "father of the electric guitar" for his invention of the solid-body instrument.

Primarily a jazz-pop musician, Paul's pioneering techniques influenced guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page.

At age 93, he still played weekly at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City.

Paul built his own solid-body guitar, with amplification in 1941, because he wanted audiences to hear him better.

He was trying to overcome problems with earlier electric guitars, which were hollow-body instruments that suffered from feedback and distortion.

Paul improved the solid-body guitar over the next 10 years, until, in 1952, Gibson introduced the Les Paul model guitar.

Paul also developed recording techniques such as multi-tracking and echo delay, and created an early-model synthesizer.

"He's become an idol and an icon to people in the rock world, as well as people in jazz and popular music," Terry Stewart, president of the Cleveland-based Rock Hall of Fame said in a tribute to Paul last year. for tunes by les paul and mary ford, amazing stuff!


  1. What a long and rich life he lead. I remember him from when I was a child and he sang as Les Paul and Mary Ford. RIP, Les. Well done.

  2. thx annie, they were good together...

  3. A legend, truly. Thanks for the link, Wolfie

  4. My mother had a long-play record of Les Paul and Mary Ford that she played so many times during my childhood. They were amazing.

    I'll check out the link now.

    RIP, indeed.

  5. I'm so glad to hear he kept right on playing almost until the end.

  6. thx folks, another great loss this year :(

  7. I'm afraid I'm more of a Fender guy, but Les Paul is indeed a legend.
    His name will live on, without a shadow of a doubt.