Paul invented the solid body electric guitar, a pioneering instrument
that transformed and dominated popular music.
Born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Les Paul became a professional musician
as a teenager and was the leader of his own trio by the age of
21. From the beginning of his career, Paul was fascinated by the
opportunities of amplifying musical instruments electronically.
He tinkered with a wide range of techniques in search of a way
to produce a pleasing and unique sound.
His innovations led to his first solid-body electric guitar in
1946. Coupled with his pioneering recording techniques, Paul produced
a series of extremely popular recordings that introduced the public
to his fast, multi-layered productions that frequently included
Paul playing as many as six musical parts simultaneously through
the process of overdubbing. His music was usually recorded on
advanced multi-track tape recorders he designed and built himself.
The quality and originality of Les Paul's work inspired a generation
of musicians to embrace his guitar and recording techniques. In
1952 the Gibson Musical Instrument Co. began selling its popular
Les Paul model electric guitar. It rapidly established the new
instrument as a powerful influence in the entertainment industry.