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Les Paul

Legendary Guitarist (June 9,1915-August 13, 2009)

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One of the absolute greats in music

  • Aug 13, 2009
  • by
It is amazing to me how many people have never heard of Les Paul.  Of couse, most of these people are 25 or younger, so I guess it does make sense.  Les had his best days long before they were born.  He and his wife of the time, Mary Ford, had 36 gold records.  Yeah, 36.  That's a lot fo records sold.   There was a time during the 40s and 50s when everyone knew who he was and what his music sounded like.  In addition to his wonderful music, he also invented the solid body electric guitar.  Let me say that again.  He INVENTED the solid body electric guitar.  Clapton, Hendrix, Van Halen, hell, every rock or metal guitarist in the last 50 years would have had nothing to play if it had not been for Les Paul.  He created the electric guitar sound.  He also pioneered overdubbing in the recording studio and created so many more recording techniques.  Pink Floyd, the Beatles, any group that used overdubbing and recording studio techniques owes their very existence to this man.  I am not overstating when I say that 106% of the music being produced today owes its existence to Les Paul.  He had arthritis in his right hand, so he had his hand "set" so that he could hold the pick and play.  When he was in hsi 80s, he was playing jazz in a trio one night a week, and he was filling the club every time he played.  He recorded two of the most wonderful guitar albums ever created, both with another guitar great, Chet Atkins.  He was a true renaissance man and he continued to be a renaissance man long after he was considered too old to be important anymore.  He was, is, and always will be important to all forms of music, though.  He played country, jazz, rock, pop, easy listening, big band, small group....if it was music he played it and played it well.

Rest well, Les.  There are those of us who know just how important to music you were.  You contributed more to music than nearly anyone else, and I include Michael Jackson, Elvis.....anyone.  MJ and Elvis could not have existed without Les Paul and his genius.

You were one of the greats, and I have and will continue to shed tears for losing you and cheers for all the you did for everyone.  Thanks.

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August 22, 2009
Even by the late 60s he was almost forgotten, but then there was a resurgence in his popularity among college kids. I remember listening to a lot of his stuff whenever I went over to visit at USF where the misic crowd was hanging out.
August 24, 2009
You are lucky. Here, in the wilds of Ohio, if it ain't on AM radio, it doesn't exist. I talk about Les Paul and get blank stares from everyone under 40, and even some over 40.
August 25, 2009
I know what you mean. It happens to me every time I open my mouth.
August 25, 2009
Hell getting old, isn't it? We remember but the younger folks just can't be bothered.
August 25, 2009
That's because anything that's older than they are can't possibly have any worth. I can say this because when I was a kid I liked Perry Como and real folk music--the stuff from the old world. Major dork. Remember on the Bob Newhart show when he and his wife were watching Como's Christmas special and Bob wondered if Perry was getting younger? Nope. He just looked better as he got older. Lucky.
August 14, 2009
I just so happen to be one of those under-the-age-of-25 sets who had no idea who Les Paul was (besides the guitars that he designed) until he passed away.  Thanks for this review, which is truly a great tribute to this legend.  I'll have to check out one of his 36 gold records now.
August 14, 2009
In addition to the recordings of country/pop/easy listening with Mary Ford (and there is a single CD of their greatest hits available on Amazon or eBay), try to find the double CD CHESTER AND LESTER/GUITAR MONSTERS. That one is a duet CD with Les and Chet Atkins. Pure guitar by two of the greatest who ever lived. No matter what kind of music you like, you owe a huge debt of gratitude to this man. Thanks for the comment
August 14, 2009
Thanks so much for the suggestions!  I will definitely try to find those on iTunes tonight.
August 14, 2009
Please let me know what you think. I hope you love them as much as I do.
August 14, 2009
I remember listening to Les Paul and Mary Ford with my mother when I was a little kid. I always loved their music. Like Drifter said, he's largely forgotton. Too bad it's out with the old and in the with the new when this inventor/musician did so much for the world of music. I applaud him and all of his accomplishments. Thanks for writing this review.
August 14, 2009
Thanks for writing, Donna. There are those of us who try not to forget. Les was one of the greats and he was directly responsible for the modern rock sound. He was also a really fine guitarist as well.
August 14, 2009
Great review about a man who has been largely forgotten. You never hear his music on the radio.
August 14, 2009
Thanks, Drifter. It is a shame that he is so forgotten. He was one of the greats and music would not be what it is without him.
More Les Paul reviews
Quick Tip by . August 21, 2009
Wow! what a guitarist..I remember watching his magic when I was a little kid....and his wife, Mary Ford...quite a team for that time.
Quick Tip by . August 20, 2009
There was no greater influence on the guitar in the entire history of the instrument. Les Paul will be missed but, hopefully not forgotten!
About the reviewer
John O'Connor ()
Ranked #85
I am retired military. I served 6 years of Navy, nearly 6 years of Air Force, and just over 22 years of Air National Guard. I also was a full time technician for the Air Guard for just over 21 years. … more
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Lester William Profuss also known as Les Paul  was an American jazz guitarist and inventor. He was a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar which "made the sound of rock and roll possible."His many recording innovations included overdubbing, delay effects such as "sound on sound" and tape delay, phasing effects, and multitrack recording. He is often credited as being the 'father of modern music'.

--from wikpedia.org/lespaul
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Birth Date: June 9, 1915
Gender: Male

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