Guitar Pioneer Les Paul Passes Away


Guitar Legend Les Paul passed away

AP Photo

Guitar inventor, Les Paul, who invented the solid-body electric guitar passed away at 94, a representative from Gibson Guitar Company reports.

As an inventor, Paul also helped make the sound of  rock ‘n’ roll possible with his innovative multitrack recording, which enables artists to record different instruments at different times, sing harmony with themselves, and then carefully balance the tracks in the finished recording.

 Many of today’s great guitarists attribute Les Paul  as an influence and use his guitars, including Peter Frampton, Led Zepplin’s Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, Slash, Green Days’ Billy Joe Armstrong,  Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton to name a few.  Guitar  legend Jimi Hendrix and even Beatle George Harrison played a Les Paul.  

 “Les Paul was a shining example of how full one’s life can be. He was so vibrant and full of positive energy,” said Slash, who has his own signature line of Slash Les Paul Goldtop guitars. “I’m honored and humbled to have known and played with him over the years. He was an exceptionally brilliant man.”

“Suddenly, it was recognized that power was a very important part of music,” Paul once said. “To have the dynamics, to have the way of expressing yourself beyond the normal limits of an unamplified instrument, was incredible. Today a guy wouldn’t think of singing a song on a stage without a microphone and a sound system.”

A natural musician and inventor since childhood, Paul made many early models of what would later be the guitar shape that is so common today. He said of his experiences with earlier models,  “I went into a nightclub and played it. Of course, everybody had me labeled as a nut.” He later put the wooden wings onto the body to give it a tradition guitar shape.”

In 1952, Gibson Guitars began production on the Les Paul guitar and over the years, the Les Paul series has become one of the most widely used guitars in the music industry.


2009 GRAMMY Hall of Fame® Inductees Announced as the GRAMMY MuseumSM Debuts to the Public on Dec. 6

The Recording Academy® Honors Timeless Recordings Including “Let The Good Times Roll” To Be Performed by B.B. King and John Mayer on “The GRAMMY® Nominations Concert Live!!” Dec. 3, 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS

The Recording Academy® announced the newest additions to its GRAMMY Hall Of Fame®, adding 28 recordings to a timeless list that now includes 826 titles. The Hall Of Fame will be a featured part of the GRAMMY MuseumSM at L.A. LIVE in downtown Los Angeles opening on Dec. 6, and serves as a celebration and reminder of the triumphs and achievements of the recording arts. Selections are drawn from all categories of music, representing the diversity and musical excellence for which The Recording Academy is renowned.

“The GRAMMY Hall of Fame represents a proud tribute to the many important recordings that have enriched and even changed our lives and now they are featured in our GRAMMY Museum for all to experience and enjoy,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. “Our 2009 inductees span decades and genres — from classical, calypso and country to R&B, soundtracks, and rock and roll — and these masterpieces possess the qualities that make them everlasting representations of how the recording arts are such a vital part of our culture.”

The selections range from 1928’s “I Wanna Be Loved By You” by Helen Kane to the Police’s 1983 album Synchronicity. The soundtrack from the film The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly as well as “Love Theme from The Godfather” are included in this year’s list of inductees. There are four classical recordings, including 1961’s “Copland: Appalachian Spring,” conducted by Aaron Copland (with the London Symphony Orchestra) and one musical show, Man Of La Mancha. Rock recordings include Jimi Hendrix’s “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Queen’s “We Are The Champions/We Will Rock You.” In the R&B genre, “Let The Good Times Roll” by Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five will be featured in a unique live performance by B.B. King and John Mayer on “The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!” airing Wednesday, Dec. 3, 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

The GRAMMY Hall Of Fame was created in 1973 to honor recordings of lasting significance that were issued prior to the 1958 inception of the GRAMMY® Awards. The Hall is now open to any recording that has been in release for at least 25 years. New submissions are chosen annually by a special member committee of experts and historians drawn from all branches of the recording arts. Their recommendations are subject to approval by the Board of Trustees of The Recording Academy. The GRAMMY Hall Of Fame is unique in that it is open to all genres of music popular as well as specialized forms.

Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit