Les Paul, RIP
“Les Paul, the guitarist and inventor who changed the course of music with the electric guitar and multitrack recording and had a string of hits, many with wife Mary Ford, died on Thursday. He was 94.
According to Gibson Guitar, Paul died of complications from pneumonia at White Plains Hospital. His family and friends were by his side.
As an inventor, Paul helped bring about the rise of rock ‘n’ roll and 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.” [AP]
In July 2005, a 90th-birthday tribute concert was held at Carnegie Hall in New York City. After performances by Steve Miller, Peter Frampton, Jose Feliciano and a number of other contemporary guitarists and vocalists, Les was presented with a commemorative guitar from the Gibson Guitar Corporation.
On November 15, 2008, Les Paul received the American Music Masters award through the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a tribute concert in the State Theater in Cleveland. Among more than a dozen guest performers were Duane Eddy, Eric Carmen, Lonnie Mack, Jennifer Batten, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, Dennis Coffey, James Burton, Billy Gibbons, Lenny Kaye, Steve Lukather, Barbara Lynn, Katy Moffatt, Alannah Myles, Richie Sambora, The Ventures, and Slash.
Les Paul wailing at the Iridium 07/07/1997
Les Paul playing “Over the Rainbow” at the Iridium in NYC on 5/19/09.