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Les Paul

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Biography

Les Paul (born June 9, 1915 - August 13, 2009) was best known as a skilled guitarist, and as one of the most important figures in the development of modern electric instruments and recording techniques. He was a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar (the Gibson Les Paul, which he helped design, is one of the most famous and enduring models), multitrack recording, and various reverb and echo effects.

Biography

Paul, born Lester William Polsfuss (the last name simplified later by his mother to Polfus) in Waukesha, Wisconsin, first became interested in music at the age of eight, when he began playing the harmonica. After an attempt at learning to play the banjo, Paul began to play the guitar. By 13, Paul was performing semi-professionally as a country-music guitarist. At the age of 17, Paul played with Rube Tronson’s Cowboys. Soon after, he dropped out of high school to join Wolverton’s Radio Band in St. Louis, Missouri on KMOX.

In the 1930s, Paul worked in Chicago, Illinois in radio, where he performed jazz music. Paul’s first two records were released in 1936. One album was credited to Rhubarb Red, Paul’s hillbilly alter ego, and the other was in the backing band for blues artist Georgia White.

Les Paul’s ‘The Log’, one of the first solidbody electric guitars.

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