Les Paul

Lester William Polsfuss (June 9, 1915 – August 12, 2009), known as Les Paul, was an American jazz, country, and blues guitarist, songwriter, luthier, and inventor. He was one of the pioneers of the solid-body electric guitar, and his prototype, called the Log, served as inspiration for the Gibson Les Paul. Paul taught himself how to play guitar, and while he is mainly known for jazz and popular music, he had an early career in country music.[1] In the 1950s, he and his wife, singer and guitarist Mary Ford, recorded numerous records, selling millions of copies.

Les Paul
Paul, c. January 1947 (photograph
by William P. Gottlieb)
Background information
Birth nameLester William Polsfuss
Born(1915-06-09)June 9, 1915
Waukesha, Wisconsin, U.S.
DiedAugust 12, 2009(2009-08-12) (aged 94)
White Plains, New York U.S.
  • Inventor
  • musician
  • songwriter
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • harmonica
Years active1928–2009
LabelsRCA Records

Paul is credited with many recording innovations. His early experiments with overdubbing (also known as sound on sound),[2] delay effects such as tape delay, phasing, and multitrack recording were among the first to attract widespread attention.[3] His licks, trills, chording sequences, fretting techniques, and timing set him apart from his contemporaries and inspired many guitarists of the present day.[4][5][6][7]

Among his many honors, Paul is one of a handful of artists with a permanent exhibit in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[8] He is prominently named by the music museum on its website as an "architect" and a "key inductee" with Sam Phillips and Alan Freed.[9] Paul is the only inductee in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.[10]

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