Les Paul–the man who played the most influential role in the invention and innovation of the electric guitar–died today. He was 94 years old.
Most of the traffic that comes to this blog is the result of targeted searches. This post won’t rank within the top one million for “les paul” searches today. The rest of my regular readership are primarily friends and a few former students. I suspect my friends already know who the man was, as well as his passing, so this is just a quick encouragement to my other readers to go find out more.
This biography from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, of which Les Paul was an inductee (1988), is a great start. This thoughtful and comprehensive obituary by Gibson–the company who popularized the Les Paul model guitar–is also a must read.
Les Paul was one of those people who just about everybody you’ve ever admired in popular music had heard of, even if you hadn’t. The only thing that diminished that trait was the fact that he lived so long, longer than most of the pioneers of modern American music who knew, first hand, the debt they owed to this talented and inquisitive man.