Paul, Les

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Paul, Les Gender: M
Lester William Polsfuss
born on 9 June 1915 at 02:00 (= 02:00 AM )
Place Waukesha, Wisconsin, 43n01, 88w14
Timezone CST h6w (is standard time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Steinbrecher
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 17°24' s_mo.18.gif s_taucol.18.gif 09°41 Asc.s_taucol.18.gif 02°16'

Les Paul
photo: didi46, license gfdl


American musician, a jazz guitarist and electric guitar's designer. Paul's major contribution to popular music was his ability to see the electronically amplified guitar's potential as a lead instrument influencing artists worldwide. Paul combined virtuoso guitar playing with new recording techniques and sound effects. The results were full-bodied, thick and heavy hi-fi guitar sound. With his singing partner and wife, Mary Ford, the couple created international hits such as "Vaya Con Dios" which rested for 11 weeks at No. 1 in the U.S. pop charts in 1953. Between 1950 and 1957 they had a total of 28 hit records.

Gibson Guitars introduced the Gibson Les Paul line of solid body electric guitars in 1952. His guitars are owned by his rock and roll admirers Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Eddie Van Halen and George Benson. The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC is waiting to display the artists' guitars in their collection upon his death. Paul was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and in February 2001 he was honored with a technology Grammy for his six decades of contribution to the music industry.

Paul was the younger of two sons of his doting mother in Waukesha, Wisconsin. His mom encouraged her son into the music field after her marriage failed in 1923. In school, Paul refused to apply himself but he was fascinated with how things worked. He learned how to play the harmonica, piano and the guitar. He played the harmonica on street corners. At home he practiced playing hillbilly guitar. He left high school and took to the road with his mentor guitarist Sunny Joe Wolverton. The two played their instruments on radio shows in St. Louis and Chicago. At 19, he performed on the national NBC radio show. In 1937, he left Wolverton and created his own group the "Les Paul Trio."

In 1943, Les Paul moved to Los Angeles and signed a contract with Decca Records with the help of his friend and fan, actor Bing Crosby. Crosby and Paul recorded his hit, "It's Been a Long, Long Time." Paul went on to work with the Andrew Sisters and Kay Starr. In 1945, Paul soundproofed his Hollywood bungalow garage and developed his new recording inventions. In 1948, he invented his multi-tracked "New Sound" heard on his instrumental hits "Brazil" and "Lover." The same year, he met country vocalist Iris Colleen Summers. She changed her name to Mary Ford and they became a singing-guitar partnership. They were a success in the 1950s with their own radio show, "Les Paul and Mary Ford at Home." They appeared on over 170 television shows from 1953-1960. With the advent of the Beatles, the Beach Boys and rock and roll, Les Paul and Mary Ford found their mellow ballad-based songs out of commercial favor. In 1965, he retired from the music scene. In 1977, Paul won a Grammy award with fellow guitarist Chet Atkins for their album, "Chester and Lester." In 1982, he received the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Trustee Award. He resumed playing guitar in 1984 as therapy for his arthritic hands. Since 1984, Les Paul has performed two shows on Monday nights for his admirers half his age at Fat Tuesday's in Manhattan.

After meeting in 1948 at Capitol Records, Les Paul and Mary Ford married the following year in Milwaukee, WI. Their marriage and musical collaboration ended in divorce in 1966. Mary Ford died in 1977.

In 1948, Paul suffered a terrible automobile accident in Oklahoma. His right arm was mangled in the wreck and, while he recuperated from his extensive injuries, he had to wear a body cast. He underwent a quintuple bypass surgery in 1980. He has had several operations for Meniere's syndrome, a vertigo-inducing ear disorder. His arthritic hands will eventually stop Paul from playing his guitars altogether.

Paul died at age 94 on August 13, 2009 in White Plains, NY from complications of pneumonia.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Family : Parents divorced 1923 (Dad walked out on family)
  • Work : Gain social status 1950 (Start of seven years of 28 hits)
  • Relationship : Divorce dates 1964 (From second wife Mary)
  • Work : New Job 1984 at 12:00 midnight in Manhattan, NY (Started playing at Fat Tuesday's)
  • Work : Prize 1988 (Indicted into the RnR' Hall of Fame)
  • Work : Prize February 2001 (Technology Grammy from music industry)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death by Disease 13 August 2009 (Complications of pneumonia; age 94)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Steinbrecher quotes B.R.


  • Traits : Personality : Hard worker (Workaholic)
  • Family : Childhood : Order of birth (Second of two boys)
  • Family : Childhood : Parent, Single or Step (Age eight when dad left)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Divorces (Two)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids more than 3 (Four)
  • Personal : Death : Illness/ Disease
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Group/ Duo (Les Paul Trio)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Instrumentalist (Jazz guitar)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Other Entertain/Music (Designed guitars)
  • Notable : Famous : Founder/ originator (Inventing multi-track, overdub and echo recording techniques)