Les Paul, Guitar Legend, Dead at 94

Guitar legend, and recording pioneer, Les Paul, dead at 94.   via Rolling Stone:

Les Paul, one of the most revered guitarists of all time and the forefather of the electric guitar, passed away last night, August 12th at the age of 94. Paul’s manager confirmed to Rolling Stone that cause of death was respiratory failure, and a statement from Gibson indicates Paul was suffering from severe pneumonia and died at a hospital in White Plains, New York. An inductee of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Grammy Hall of Fame, Paul is credited as the creator of the electric body guitar and the pioneer of recording techniques like electronic echo and multi-tracking. Paul also had a celebrated career as both a solo artist and with singer Mary Ford, his wife until 1964. In 2003, Rolling Stone named Les Paul to our list of the Greatest Guitarists of All Time.In the early ’50s, Paul and Ford had a string of hits including Mockin’ Bird Hill, ‘  ‘How High the Moon, ‘  ‘The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise’  and ‘Vaya Con Dios.’  Paul also began experimenting with the electric guitar, building the Les Paul Recording Guitar, an instrument that allowed for ‘hot’  pickups and ‘fatter’  tone than the Fender on the market. Paul linked up with Gibson Guitars and his six-string became one of the guitar maker’s signatures.

Around this time, Paul also made the first-ever eight-track recording, as well as the dual-pickup guitar, the 14-fret guitar, and various types of electronic transducers used both in guitars and recording studios. For his achievements as a technician, Paul was also inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2005, joining Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla.

His ground-breaking contributions changed the face of popular music. Can’t imagine what we’d be listening to right now without him. RIP Les Paul.

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