Historical | Mahwah (1915-2009)
Guitarist, songwriter, inventor, and innovator, Les Paul is considered to be one of the foremost influences on the sound of contemporary music and on the development of the electric guitar. Born in Waukesha, Wisconsin in 1915 he spent much of his 94 years in Mahwah, New Jersey. Not only is he responsible for the development of the solid-body electric guitar – the Gibson Les Paul, but he also is responsible for many recording industry innovations and ingenious guitar effects, including multitrack recording and the reverb. The Les Paul guitar today is used all over the world both by novice guitar players as well as guitar legends such as Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Ace Frehley. Les played many styles of music, starting out in country, but eventually evolving to jazz and popular. He was a sideman to superstars such as Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby and in the late 1940’s and 50’s, he and wife Mary Ford were at the top of the charts and hosted a hit television program. He is the only individual to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame, the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Les Paul continued to perform at New York City’s Iridium Club up until his death in August of 2009.