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#1248476 - 08/13/09 12:38 PM Guitar, studio wizard Les Paul dies at 94  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,150
Piano World Offline
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,150
Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
I know it's not piano, but anybody who has been in the music business for a while knows and respects Les Paul...

© CNN

CNN) -- Les Paul, whose innovations with the electric guitar and studio technology made him one of the most important figures in recorded music, has died, according to a statement from his publicists. Paul was 94.


Paul died in White Plains, New York, from complications of severe pneumonia, according to the statement.

Paul was a guitar and electronics mastermind whose creations -- such as multitrack recording, tape delay and the solid-body guitar that bears his name, the Gibson Les Paul -- helped give rise to modern popular music, including rock 'n' roll. No slouch on the guitar himself, he continued playing at clubs into his 90s despite being hampered by arthritis.

"If you only have two fingers [to work with], you have to think, how will you play that chord?" he told CNN.com in a 2002 phone interview. "So you think of how to replace that chord with several notes, and it gives the illusion of sounding like a chord."

Lester William Polfuss was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on June 9, 1915. Even as a child he showed an aptitude for tinkering, taking apart electric appliances to see what made them tick.

"I had to build it, make it and perfect it," Paul said in 2002. He was nicknamed the "Wizard of Waukesha."

In the 1930s and '40s, he played with several big band singers, including Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and the Andrews Sisters, as well as with his own Les Paul Trio. In the early 1950s, he had a handful of huge hits with his then-wife, Mary Ford, such as "How High the Moon" and "Vaya Con Dios."

His guitar style, heavily influenced by jazzman Django Reinhardt, featured lightning-quick runs and double-time rhythms. In 1948, after being involved in a severe car accident, he asked the doctor to set his arm permanently in a guitar-playing position.

Paul also credited Crosby for teaching him about timing, phrasing and preparation.

Crosby "didn't say it, he did it -- one time only. Unless he blew the lyrics, he did one take."

Paul never stopped tinkering with electronics, and after Crosby gave him an early audiotape recorder, Paul went to work changing it. It eventually led to multitrack recording; on Paul and Ford's hits, he plays many of the guitar parts, and Ford harmonizes with herself. Multitrack recording is now the industry standard.

But Paul likely will be best remembered for the Gibson Les Paul, a variation on the solid-body guitar he built in the late 1930s and offered to the guitar company.

"For 10 years, I was a laugh," he told CNN in an interview. "[But] kept pounding at them and pounding at them saying hey, here's where it's at. Here's where tomorrow, this is it. You can drown out anybody with it. And you can make all these different sounds that you can't do with a regular guitar."

Gibson, spurred by rival Fender, finally took Paul up on his offer and introduced the model in 1952. It has since become the go-to guitar for such performers as Eric Clapton.

Paul is enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Inventors Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

He admired the places guitarists and engineers took his inventions, but he said there was nothing to replace good, old-fashioned elbow grease and soul.

"I learned a long time ago that one note can go a long way if it's the right one," he said in 2002, "and it will probably whip the guy with 20 notes."


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#1248480 - 08/13/09 12:44 PM Re: Guitar, studio wizard Les Paul dies at 94 [Re: Piano World]  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
Horowitzian Offline
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Horowitzian  Offline
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So sad. One of my favorite guitarists. frown RIP.

[Linked Image]

But I loves me my Gibson Les Paul, though. cool Here's one similar to mine:

[Linked Image]

Last edited by Horowitzian; 08/13/09 12:50 PM.

Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1248761 - 08/13/09 09:05 PM Re: Guitar, studio wizard Les Paul dies at 94 [Re: Horowitzian]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 10,588
Rich Galassini Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Rich Galassini  Online Content
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Rest in peace Les. Thank you for everything.


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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#1248829 - 08/13/09 10:57 PM Re: Guitar, studio wizard Les Paul dies at 94 [Re: Rich Galassini]  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 65
DavidKitazono Offline
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He was one of the greatest innovators of our time. I was fortunate to see him perform at a NYC club many years ago. He was a class act and very humble. He will be sorely missed.


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#1248831 - 08/13/09 11:01 PM Re: Guitar, studio wizard Les Paul dies at 94 [Re: DavidKitazono]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,150
Piano World Offline
Piano World  Offline



Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,150
Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
I was just reading the article on Time.com about him.

I knew he was talented and had done many things in the music business, but I didn't realize just how much. Amazing guy!

This is a good article, worth taking a few minutes to read.

http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1916363,00.html





- Frank B.
Founder / Owner / Host
www.PianoWorld.com
www.PianoSupplies.com
Find Us On:
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ProRecord.info
Twitter.com/PianoWorld
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My Keyboards:
Estonia L-190 w/ ProRecord, Yamaha P-80, Estey 1895 Pump Organ, Harpsichord (kit), Clavichord (kit), Bilhorn Telescope Organ c 1880
-------------------------
It's Fun To Play the Piano ... PLEASE Pass It On!
Invite everyone you know to join our piano forums!


#1248842 - 08/13/09 11:21 PM Re: Guitar, studio wizard Les Paul dies at 94 [Re: Piano World]  
Joined: Feb 2009
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eweiss Offline
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eweiss  Offline
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Beautiful San Diego, CA
Well, I had a Les Paul copy guitar made by Ibanez. Couldn't afford the Gibson. But I was happy as a hamster in new shavings!


Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com
#1249661 - 08/15/09 09:20 AM Re: Guitar, studio wizard Les Paul dies at 94 [Re: eweiss]  
Joined: Oct 2003
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Stevester Offline
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Stevester  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2003
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New Jersey
An important man who made numerous major contributions to music.

May he rest in Peace.


"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon
#1249730 - 08/15/09 11:12 AM Re: Guitar, studio wizard Les Paul dies at 94 [Re: Stevester]  
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BDB Offline
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Oakland
I suspect that none of us would have our computer hard disks if he had not shown what can be done with multitrack magnetic recording.


Semipro Tech
#1249902 - 08/15/09 05:23 PM Re: Guitar, studio wizard Les Paul dies at 94 [Re: BDB]  
Joined: Sep 2008
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Horowitzian Offline
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Horowitzian  Offline
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Yeah, we'd still be booting off floppies, or perhaps optical discs. crazy


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1249949 - 08/15/09 06:41 PM Re: Guitar, studio wizard Les Paul dies at 94 [Re: Horowitzian]  
Joined: Jun 2003
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BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
BDB  Offline
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Oakland
Those would not have been used, either.


Semipro Tech

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