Les Paul… the guitar pioneer has died aged 94

August 14, 2009 at 8:56 am (Music)

Les Paul

Les Paul

Les Paul, the jazz guitarist and inventor who created one of the world’s most famous electric guitars, has died. He was 94.

The Gibson Les Paul is the instrument of choice for Paul McCartney, Slash and U2’s the Edge. It’s still a firm favourite with younger bands such as Gallows. Les Paul helped create the famous model in the 1952, along with designer Ted McCarty.

Born in Wisconsin in 1915, Paul turned an early obssession with music into a successful career as a jazz guitarist, playing with the likes of Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby.

In 1939, Paul built one of the first solid-body electric guitars, known as “The Log”, which prompted Gibson to approach him. Paul’s legacy stretches much further than his signature guitar, however. As an inventor, Paul pioneered many studio techniques including multitrack recording, which allowed musicians to record parts separately before mixing them together into a finished track.

Gibson president Dave Berryman said: “As the father of the electric guitar, he was not only one of the world’s greatest innovators but a legend who created, inspired and contributed to the success of musicians around the world.”

Paul reportedly died of complications from pneumonia at White Plains Hospital.

(Photograph: Richard Drew/AP) (As reported by The Guardian)

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