Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I just finished Les Paul:An Americal Original by Mary Alice Shaughnessy, a biography of the musician and inventor.

Les Paul is a pretty cool guy, though it sounds that like a lot of artists, he's kind of a bastard to the people in his life. Aside from being an accomplished jazz player and having a ton of hit records back in the 50s with his wife, Mary Ford, and playing with many of the biggest stars of the day, like Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters, he also was an innovator in early solid body electric guitars and recording technology, particularly multi-track recording.

Like a lot of artists from that era, he was wiped off the charts by the rise of rock and roll and the dominance of teenagers in pop culture. Today, most people probably have no idea who Les Paul is. If anything, they might know his name from the line of Gibson guitars.

Here's a fun video of him playing Tiger Rag with his wife:

Of course, Les was also a pioneer in using backing tracks so they are probably either playing along with a backing track or just faking it.

Amazon Link: Les Paul: An American Original

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