ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 13, 2009
Les Paul, famed guitar player and creator of the solid-body Gibson guitar that bears his name, died today (August 13) at the age of 94 in White Plains, New York.
Paul, the electronics mastermind who also created multitrack recording and tape delay, first gained popularity in the 1930s and ’40s, playing with the likes of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. In the early ’50s he recorded such hits as “Vaya Con Dios” and “How High the Moon” with his then-wife, Mary Ford.
Even into his nineties, Paul continued to perform, especially at New York’s Iridium Jazz Club, where he had a standing gig. Surrey’s own Danny Sveinson, aka “the Rock n Roll Kid”, got to jam with Paul in the Big Apple a few years ago.
By all accounts, Paul was a wonderful human being as well as a stunning guitarist and technological wizard. “Les Paul was truly one of a kind,” said big-hearted blues great B.B. King in a statement released today. “We owe many of his inventions that made the rock ‘n’ roll sound of today to him, and he was the founding father of modern music. This is a huge loss to the music community and the world. I am honoured to have known him.”
Paul is survived by three sons, a daughter, five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.