Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

The Day the Music Died . . . Les Paul Was Regarded by His Peers as a Genius as the Inventor of the Electric Guitar

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

The Day the Music Died . . . Les Paul Was Regarded by His Peers as a Genius as the Inventor of the Electric Guitar

Article excerpt

SINCE the '50s many a teenager has looked longingly into a music shop window and prayed for a Les Paul guitar. The name Les Paul is forever associated with great guitars and musical dreams.

Les Paul, the Wisconsin-born genius who rose to become one of the most influential musicians in the 20th century, has died at the age of 94.

The Gibson Guitar Co said on its website that Paul died of complications of pneumonia at a White Plains hospital in New York.

Paul was best known as a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar and the originator of multi-track recording.

Paul, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was also a major recording artist in the 1940s and 1950s, and performed in Manhattan late in life.

With his wife Mary Ford, Paul enjoyed a series of more than 25 top 40 hits in the late '40s and early '50s including Vaya Con Dios, Hummingbird, and How High the Moon. The couple later divorced and Mary Ford died in 1977. Paul influenced scores of musicians in the worlds of rock and jazz.

Aside from making rock'n'roll possible with his creation of the electric guitar, Paul also contributed immensely to the advance of studio recording over the years with inventions like multi-track recording, reverb, and more than a dozen others.

Paul McCartney once said of Paul: "Les was one of the greatest innovators in recording techniques.

"The work he put into developing the guitar that was named after him made the instrument an all-time classic, and his incredible playing skills make him one of the masters of the instrument."

In 1990 Capitol honoured him with a boxed set Les Paul the Legend and the Legacy. The four-CD box contained liner notes by Paul himself and 34 never-before released tracks.

Born Lester William Polsfuss, Les Paul started performing at home when he was 10-years-old, organising his own little orchestra. He also became fascinated with electronics, building his own broadcasting set in his basement.

A music teacher had told Paul's mother not to waste her money on lessons for the boy because he wasn't "musically inclined".

By 1928, however, Paul had a hot new stage act. …

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