Friday, August 14, 2009

Les Paul 1915-2009

Life is unfair. Some are richer and some poorer. Some are blessed with beauty and others, not so much.

And then there are the titanic talents, the people who do lots of things a whole lot better than the mere mortals that surround them.

That would describe Les Paul, who passed away on Thursday.

He is credited with inventing the solid body electric guitar. He made huge advancements in the field of sound recording, including overdubbing, multi-track recording, delay and phasing effects.

So okay, he's a cool nerd.

He was also just about the cleanest sounding electric guitarist ever. He and his wife Mary Ford cut huge hit records more than fifty years ago. Here's Les and Mary being interviewed by Alistair Cooke, I assume on the show Omnibus, and then playing their great hit, How High The Moon.

Thank the gods for creating the titans, and thank the titans who share the secrets of fire and mathematics and music and physics with the rest of us, titans like Prometheus and Les Paul.

Rest in peace, Mr. Paul. You will always be a wonder of the world.


Karlacita! said...

OMG he was just the most amazing guy!

Farewell Les - you were the cat's meow!

namastenancy said...

I remember listening to him on the old 78 RPM's and earlier this year, getting a whole album of his remastered works on CD's. He was superbly talented and will be much missed.

Matty Boy said...

There have been a lot of great jazz guitarist of the amplified age, but the ones that always make me stop and listen are Les Paul and Chet Atkins. So clean and sweet and beautiful.

I love Charlie Byrd's stuff, too, but most of the recordings I've heard of his have been on wood bodied guitars with a microphone for amplification.

MaineBob said...

This is a great 15 minute NYT tribute to Les Paul... The Beatles wouldn't have been if not for Les and his invention. I am honored to have heard and met Les at Fat Tuesdays in Lower Manhattan around 1990. ENJOY!
- MaineBob

MaineBob said...

Here's the link with the http

Matty Boy said...

Thanks so much for the link, Bob. A wonderful piece.

CDP said...

I thought you'd post something about him. Very nice tribute.

dguzman said...

Sniffle. I always loved him, Chet Atkins, Buck Owens, and Roy Clark.

Les, you will be missed.