Les Paul

~ Person

Legal name: Lester William Polfus


Lester William Polsfuss (June 9, 1915 – August 13, 2009), known as Les Paul, was an American jazz, country, and blues guitarist, songwriter, luthier, and inventor. He was one of the pioneers of the solid-body electric guitar, which made the sound of rock and roll possible. Paul taught himself how to play guitar and while he is mainly known for jazz and popular music, he had an early career in country music. He is credited with many recording innovations. Although he was not the first to use the technique, his early experiments with overdubbing (also known as sound on sound), delay effects such as tape delay, phasing effects and multitrack recording were among the first to attract widespread attention.

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 guitarists of the present day. He recorded with his wife Mary Ford in the 1950s, and they sold millions of records.

Among his many honors, Paul is one of a handful of artists with a permanent, stand-alone exhibit in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is prominently named by the music museum on its website as an "architect" and a "key inductee" along with Sam Phillips and Alan Freed. Les Paul is the only person to be included in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1950 The New Sound! Les Paul 1
1968 Now! Les Paul 2
1989 Masters of the Guitar: Together Chet Atkins & Les Paul 1
1995 Chester & Lester Chet Atkins & Les Paul 2
1997 Chester & Lester / Guitar Monsters Chet Atkins & Les Paul 1
2005 Les Paul & Friends: American Made World Played Les Paul 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1997 The Complete Decca Trios-Plus (1936-47) Les Paul 1
2001 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Les Paul Les Paul 1
2005 Isle of Golden Dreams, Volume 1 Les Paul 1
2005 Isle of Golden Dreams, Volume 2 Les Paul 1
2005 Isle of Golden Dreams, Volume 3 Les Paul 1
2005 Isle of Golden Dreams, Volume 4 Les Paul 1
2008 Vaya Con Dios Les Paul 1
2009 How High the Moon: Hits & Rarities From the Wizard of Waukesha Les Paul 1
2010 The Absolutely Essential Collection Les Paul 1
Dream Dust Les Paul 1
How High the Moon Les Paul 1
The Legend and the Legacy Les Paul 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2001 Jazz at the Philharmonic Nat King Cole & Les Paul 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1951 How High the Moon / Walkin' and Whistlin' Blues Les Paul and Mary Ford / Les Paul 1
1951 The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise / Whispering Les Paul and Mary Ford / Les Paul 1

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