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Les Paul

Lester William Polsfuss (June 9, 1915 – August 12, 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, and his techniques served as inspiration for the Gibson Les Paul. 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, the singer and guitarist 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" 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.

Birth and Death Data: Born June 9th, 1915 (Waukesha), Died August 13th, 2009 (White Plains)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1936 - 1949

Roles Represented in DAHR: guitar, vocalist, harmonica

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 43 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Decca C 90732 10-in. 5/20/1936 Just because Rhubarb Red [Les Paul] instrumentalist, guitar, vocalist, harmonica  
Decca C 90733 10-in. 5/20/1936 Answer to Just because Rhubarb Red [Les Paul] instrumentalist, guitar, vocalist, harmonica  
Decca C 90734 10-in. 5/20/1936 Deep elem blues No. 2 Rhubarb Red [Les Paul] instrumentalist, guitar, vocalist, harmonica  
Decca C 90735 10-in. 5/20/1936 Deep elem blues No. 2 Rhubarb Red [Les Paul] instrumentalist, guitar, vocalist, harmonica  
Decca L 3659 10-in. 10/26/1944 Dream dust Les Paul and his Trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 3660 10-in. 10/26/1944 Begin the beguine Les Paul and his Trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 3661 10-in. 10/26/1944 Dark eyes Les Paul and his Trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 3662 10-in. 10/26/1944 Blue skies Les Paul and his Trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 3701 10-in. 12/14/1944 Blue skies Les Paul and his Trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 3702 10-in. 12/14/1944 Begin the beguine Les Paul and his Trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 3703 10-in. 12/14/1944 Dream dust Les Paul and his Trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 3704 10-in. 12/14/1944 Dark eyes Les Paul and his Trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 3889 10-in. 7/12/1945 It's been a long, long time Bing Crosby instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 3890 10-in. 7/12/1945 Whose dream are you? Bing Crosby instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 3945 10-in. 8/31/1945 Hawaiian paradise Les Paul and his Trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 3946 10-in. 8/31/1945 My isle of golden dreams Les Paul and his Trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 3965 10-in. 9/13/1945 Day by day Bing Crosby instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 3966 10-in. 9/13/1945 Prove it by the things you do Bing Crosby instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 3999 10-in. 11/16/1945 Spellbound Helen Forrest instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 4000 10-in. 11/16/1945 Everybody knew but me Helen Forrest instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 4044 10-in. 12/28/1945 Baby, what you do to me Helen Forrest instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 4045 10-in. 12/28/1945 Everybody knew but me Helen Forrest instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 4073 1/22/1946 Song of the islands Les Paul and his Trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 4074 1/22/1946 Sweet Leilani Les Paul and his Trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 4075 1/22/1946 King's serenade Les Paul and his Trio instrumentalist, guitar  
(Results 1-25 of 43 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Paul, Les," accessed October 26, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/207737.

Paul, Les. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/207737.

"Paul, Les." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 26 October 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/207737

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