Les Paul & The Last Word

Les Paul was born 100 years ago today. Even if you do not remember or can not name any of his couple dozen hit songs, if you are listening to music at this moment, you are listening to his influence, no matter what style of music you have on. He invented multi-track recording in the 1940s, for instance, so unless you are listening to a monaural recording on an acetate disc from that era, you are listening to a multi-track recording.

It is true that multi-track recording is one of those things that someone was going to invent out of necessity, but Les Paul is the man who responded to that necessity.

He also invented the solid-body electric guitar and the amplification system for it, so if you are listening to an electric guitar right now, you are listening to Les Paul’s influence. And you might even be listening to a Gibson Les Paul model guitar—Gibson started selling a model based on his design in the early 1950s—Eric Clapton played a Les Paul while he was with Cream. “Sunshine of Your Love?” That’s a Les Paul.
Read More