Les Paul, 1915-2009
He played electric guitar, and helped invent it; Gibson made a model based on his work and named it after him. With his wife Mary Ford he made some hit records on which he also innovated, using tape speed shifts and multi-tracking. He wasn't just a tech pioneer, though: he was also a tasty player. Into old age he played regular club gigs in New York, and visibly enjoyed the attention of fans, the comradeship of musicians, and the bright, clear sound of the electric guitar. He has passed away from complications of pneumonia in White Plains. Above you see him playing "Birth of the Blues"; if you wait around, Chet Atkins shows up too.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in New York, delivered to your inbox.