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Gibson Les Paul Classic
News Gibson Les Paul Classic

LP-Shaped Guitar from Gibson belonging to the Les Paul series

Les Paul, the guitarist and inventor known for the solid-body electric guitar and recording studio innovations, died Thursday in White Plains, N.Y.

He was 94.

The cause was complications of pneumonia, the Gibson Guitar Corporation and his family announced.

Mr. Paul was considered a remarkable musician as well as a tireless tinkerer. He played guitar alongside leading prewar jazz and pop musicians from Louis Armstrong to Bing Crosby. In the 1930s he began experimenting with guitar amplification, and by 1941 he had built what was probably the first solid-body electric guitar, although there are other claimants.

With his guitar and the vocals of his wife, Mary Ford, he used overdubbing, multitrack recording and new electronic effects to create a string of hits in the 1950s.

Mr. Paul’s style encompassed the twang of country music, the harmonic richness of jazz and, later, the bite of rock ’n’ roll. For all his technological impact, though, he remained a down-home performer whose main goal, he often said, was to make people happy.

Excerpts taken from Jon Pareles’ ArtsBeat Blog
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