Guitarist and inventor Les Paul passed away on Thursday, August 13, at a hospital in White Plains, N.Y., after about of severe pneumonia. He was 94.
He was a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar which "made the sound of rock and roll possible. "He is credited with many recording innovations, including overdubbing (also known as sound on sound),delay effects such as tape delay, phasing effects, and multitrack recording (which enables artists to record different instruments at different times, sing harmony with themselves, and then carefully balance the "tracks" in the finished recording).
His innovative talents extended into his playing style, including licks, trills, chording sequences, fretting techniques and timing, which set him apart from his contemporaries and inspired many of the guitarists of the present day. He recorded with his wife Mary Ford in the 1950s and they sold millions of hit records.
Les Paul was known for his collaboration with the Gibson Guitar Corporation in the creation of the Gibson Les Paul, one of the most famous solid-body guitars in the world. It has been used by many well-known guitarists including Billy Gibbons, Jimmy Page, Randy Rhoads, Slash and Pete Townshend.
On November 15, 2008, Les Paul received the American Music Masters award through the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a tribute concert in the State Theater in Cleveland. Among more than a dozen guest performers were Duane Eddy, Eric Carmen, Lonnie Mack, Jennifer Batten, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, Dennis Coffey, James Burton, Billy Gibbons, Lenny Kaye, Steve Lukather, Barbara Lynn, Katy Moffatt, Alannah Myles, Richie Sambora, The Ventures, and Slash.