There is no name better known to guitarists, songwriters, guitar collectors, and music fans than the name Les Paul. A website recently launched that is dedicated to the inventor, musician, and music technology pioneer who has become known as the “father of modern music”. It celebrates his remarkable life through hundreds of rare videos, photo galleries, behind-the-scenes experiences, and more.
Les Paul’s career as a popular guitarist and performer, with one of the most popular electric guitar designs bearing his name, would in itself make his name known around the world, but his impact on modern music culture runs far deeper. Past his personal musical achievements (which were notable), he is also personally responsible for numerous inventions and innovations that changed music at its core. These landmark innovations changed the way musicians create and perform music; how engineers record it; and the ways in which music fans hear it. Les Paul blazed a trail as a musical pioneer and the result has arguably made him the most important individual in the history of modern music. If you don’t know about this man, you should. And if you are a musician, your musical education is not complete without a thorough understanding of his many contributions.
A quick tour of the new website begins at the new homepage with a slide show depicting highlights of Les Paul’s extraordinary life edited to his own music. From there, visitors can choose to explore in five comprehensive sections: The Inventor, The Musician, The Foundation, Education, and Music.
The Inventor section is devoted to Les Paul’s innovations of the solid-body electric guitar, sound on sound and multi-track recording, home studios, and other recording innovations. Vintage videos showcase the inventor explaining his inventions from his home studio or on national television shows. This section provides rare insights into his early inventions and a glimpse of original Les Paul guitar schematics on the background of the web pages.
The Musician section celebrates Les Paul’s impact on countless modern musical artists and icons from Sir Paul McCartney to Slash. It speaks to his own virtuosic playing that extended across many genres, including jazz, country, R&B, and rock. His early relationships with such icons as Bing Crosby, Chet Akins, and Tony Bennett can be seen in extraordinary photos and performance videos. This section also includes a chronicle of his life with his musical partner, Mary Ford, and their hit recordings. Details of Les Paul’s personal guitar collection are included here, including detailed descriptions of each guitar and video content of his many celebrity friends, including Keith Richards, Billy Gibbons, Joan Jett, Jeff Beck, Steve Miller, Merle Haggard, and Stanley Jordan.
Looking to the future, the site introduces the Les Paul Foundation that seeks to inspire innovative and creative thinking through grant support of music education, recording, innovation, and medical research related to hearing. An Education section offers diverse resources for classroom or individual use and is divided into Elementary, Secondary and Collegiate sections, including lesson plans, study units, downloadable workbooks, and other educational resources for the classroom.
The website would not be complete without a Music section, a curated look at Les Paul’s music and his musical legacy. Here, visitors can download or stream Les Paul’s music, including 33 Top 20 recordings spanning multiple genres from country and pop to jazz and R&B. A Les Paul webstore features a brand new array of new signature merchandise including new t-shirts, baseball caps, hoodies, sweatshirts and the popular Les Paul in His Own Words book.
To experience Les Paul as never before, click here.
Photos courtesy Les Paul foundation