Guitar Legend & Master Inventor Les Paul passed away early Thursday, August 13, 2009. Most people know that Les Paul invented and perfected the electric guitar (he made his first electric guitar model at age 13, in 1929). Today, millions of Gibson guitars bear his name. But he also invented the multi-track recording & overdubbing technologies, developed reverb & echo systems and much more. Les Paul's technological innovations have been used in all corners of the globe, by recording studios at every level and by musicians in every musical genre -- including bluegrass -- literally every day for more than half a century.
Les Paul's long list of inventions, innovations, guitar playing techniques and more is mind-boggling. He may very well have made more of an impact on the entire music industry than any other single person in its history. Les Paul is the only person to ever share membership in the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the National Inventors Hall of Fame and the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Les Paul loved all styles of music, "when it was played well." Banjo player Tony Trischka has appeared at his club, The Iridium, in NYC. They had a great jam together on one of Les Paul's weekly Monday night sessions in 2007.
If you have ever recorded your own music or just enjoy listening to music, it is largely because Les Paul made it possible to do so...and that makes Les Paul worthy of an appearance in this blog space on the day the music world lost a truly international music industry icon.