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Vaya Con Dios, Les.

By Tony Hicks
Thursday, August 13th, 2009 at 11:20 am in Uncategorized.

There’s a solid argument to be made that Les Paul is the most important figure in 20th Century Music.

 

Paul died Thursday at the ripe old age of 94. All he did was basically invent the electric guitar as we know it, as well as multitrack recording. Without the latter, there’s no Pet Sounds. There’s no Sgt. Pepper. There’s barely any great post 1950s records (Watch the following clip with a little patience – at least until Paul starts going off at 1:05).

Well, maybe. But not the same way you’re used to hearing them. It would be like taking away your giant, surround-sound HD flatscreen in the middle of the greatest action movie ever made, and replacing it with a 13-inch black and white TV relying on the attached rabbit-ears up top for decent reception.

Paul was also a fantasic guitarist and songwriter. With wife Mary Ford, he scored 36 gold records from 1949 to 1962, including No. 1s “Vaya Con Dios,” and “How High the Moon.”

If no one has erected a statue to Les Paul yet, today’s the day to start working.

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