In Memory of Les Paul

Les Paul

Here at No Treble, we are dedicated to bringing you the latest news exclusively about the bass and bass players; however, there are events that mandate we step out of our status quo. Tragically, guitar legend and music icon Les Paul has died. We felt his influence on music has been so huge we needed to honor him and his enduring memory.

According to Gibson, his passing was due to complications from pneumonia. He died August 12th 2009 in a hospital in White Plains, New York, at the age of 94.

Les is credited with the creation of the first solid body electric guitar which went on sale in 1952. In 2002 he gave the following statement:

“I wanted people to hear me. That’s where the whole idea of a solid-body guitar came from. In the ’30s, the archtop electric was such an apologetic instrument. On the bandstand, it was so difficult battling with a drummer, the horns, and all the instruments that had so much power.

“With a solid-body, guitarists could get louder and express themselves. Instead of being wimps, we’d become one of the most powerful people in the band. We could turn that mother up and do what we couldn’t do before.”


Les also developed other influential recording innovations such as multi-track recording and overdubbing, and is credited with inventing the 8-track recorder.

Les had a very influential music career. He had 11 number one singles and 36 gold discs with his wife Mary Ford. He is in the Grammy Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2003 was name one of the “Greatest Guitarists of All Time” by Rolling Stone Magazine.

He will be missed greatly by the music community. Funeral arrangements have not been announced at this time.

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