Musical pioneer and namesake of Gibson’s most iconic guitar, Les Paul was born 93 years ago, on June 9, 1915 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Any player who knows his guitar history is already aware that Gibson’s Les Paul guitar was pioneered, developed with the assistance of, and endorsed by Les Paul, a famous jazz-pop artist and musical and electronic genius.
Paul wanted a guitar that better served the needs of jazz guitarists, one that would offer more sustain and feedback resistance than the hollowbody archtops that were the norm at the time, and would also be more versatile sonically. In the early ‘50s, he and Gibson worked together to develop the cutting-edge guitar of his dreams. What resulted was the Les Paul, and with its unrivaled tonal capabilities it soon landed in the hands of top guitarists from every genre. Though Les Paul may be best known for developing the electric guitar as we know it, the sum of all of his contributions is immeasurable.
The great Les Paul still plays every Monday night at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City.