Les Paul: How High the Moon

Les Paul
June 9, 1915 – August 12, 2009

Les Paul was one of the most significant musical inventors and innovators of our time.

Born in Waukesha, Wisconsin in 1915, Les began playing harmonica at the age of 8. His lifelong music career began soon thereafter. By age 13, Les was performing as a country western singer. A move to Chicago at age 19 sparked his interest in jazz. Soon after, Les formed the Les Paul Trio. By 1939 the group left for New York where Les began experimenting and altering his acoustic electric hollow-body guitars. These ideas would lead to his endorsement and contribution to the development of the solid body electric guitar which bears his name, the Gibson Les Paul.

Through the 1940’s and 50’s Les also began experimenting with recording techniques. He would record an idea to acetate disc, then with another disc record a part layering the previous idea. This was the beginning of multi-track recording. Multi-tracking would also allow him to experiment with the speed in which the parts were recorded. After transferring his multi-track technique to tape, Les developed other major recording innovations such as overdubbing and electronic echo.

Les Paul’s contributions to the advancement of music are unsurpassed. The invention of his 8 track recording device created the platform for modern recording. It also set the path for the recording approach of the 60’s which produced some of the most influential recordings of all time. Through his career, Les Paul was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame, the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

On top of all that, Les is an excellent guitar player who is held in high regard by some of the greats. This is a clip of him performing with Mary Ford in 1953. It shows his creative blend of jazz and country played with great facility.

With his passing in August of 2009, the world has lost a remarkable innovator and musician.


More on Les Paul from Wikipedia






  1. Les Paul: How High the Moon | My-Song Articles says:

    […] Go here to read the rest: Les Paul: How High the Moon […]

Speak Your Mind


Site by Synaptic Systems Inc. - Using the STUDIOPRESS Genesis Framework under WordPress