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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Innovator Les Paul Dies at 94


American Jazz guitarist Les Paul has died from complications of pneumonia at White Plains Hospitals in New York. Paul was a pioneer with the electric guitar and has been quoted for “making the sound of rock and roll possible.” His recording innovations include overdubbing, delay effects, tape delay, phasing effects, multi-track recordings and his famous solid-body electric guitar, known as “The Log,” built in 1939.

Paul became interested in music at age 8 when he began to play the harmonica and the banjo then eventually the guitar. In 1948, Paul was in a near-fatal automobile accident and doctors told him he would never be able to regain movement in his elbow. However, he told the surgeons to resent his elbow in a way that would at least allow him to cradle and pick the guitar.

In 1950, Paul hosted a fifteen-minute radio program called The Les Paul Show, which featured himself, Mary Ford (his wife) and rhythm player Eddie Stapleton. Paul is remembered for his unique guitar style, including licks, trills, chording sequences, fretting techniques and timing that many guitarists admire.

Paul was an Honorary Board Member for nonprofit Little Kids Rock known for bringing free musical instruments and instruction to schools in need throughout the nation.
-Sarah Saltzman

Currently listening to: "Use Somebody" by King of Leon

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