Les Paul died yesterday at the age of 94. He was one of the most remarkable innovators in music, as well as an incredible guitarist.
He was the first to develop the electric guitar, although others take credit as well. Today a “Les Paul” made by Gibson is the cream of the crop in guitars.
More importantly, he and his wife Mary Ford were the first to develop multi-track recording. Using a regular tape recorder, they would record a song, and then play it back, recording over it again….until they achieved the full sound of multi-track recording which is standard today.
Their recording of “How High the Moon” is a classic…..and is played often on my iPod.
Something I didn’t know about him that I found today in a report:
In January 1948, Paul was injured in a near-fatal automobile accident in Oklahoma, which shattered his right arm and elbow. Doctors told Paul that there was no way for them to rebuild his elbow in a way that would let him regain movement, and that his arm would remain permanently in whatever position they placed it in. Paul then instructed the surgeons to set his arm at an angle that would allow him to cradle and pick the guitar. It took him a year and a half to recover.