Saturday, August 15, 2009

Gossip Les Paul Dies

Les Paul DiesLes Paul, known as "Father of the Electric Guitar," has passed away at age 94 in White Plains Hospital surrounded by family and friends. The cause of death was complications of pneumonia.

Paul will be remembered for his musical talent as well as for his guitar developments. He created hits with his late wife Mary Ford and also played guitar with jazz and pop icons such as Louis Armstrong to Bing Crosby. In the 1930's he started experimenting with guitar amplification and by 1941 he had built what was known as the first solid-body electric guitar.

He was born as Lester William Polsfuss in Wisconsin on June 9, 1915. He began playing guitar at age 13 and at 17 he left high school to play in Sonny Joe Wolverton's radio band. The group became popular on national radio in 1938. Paul played on Armed Forces Radio during WWII and then he formed the Les Paul Trio.

He then started experimenting with multitrack recording and advancing the technique of tape delay. Then in 1952 he signed a contract with Gibson to create Gibson Les Paul guitars which have been used by many legends of the rock n' roll era from Jimmy Hendrix to Jack White.

Arthritis caused him to slow down his career in later years, but he still performed regularly at New York's Iridium Jazz Club. Despite Les Paul's sucessful career, he always remained down to earth and often said his main goal was to make people happy.
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