Les was More

Last week guitar and recording pioneer Les Paul passed away at age 94. While I knew he’d had something to do (in parallel with Leo Fender and Adolph Rickenbacker) with the development of the solid-body electric guitar, I didn’t realize that he had a still-more-solid claim as the father of multitrack recording. If the solid body made the rock-n-roll (and modern country) “sound” possible, multitrack recording has fundamentally changed the way music is produced—vastly expanding the sonic and harmonic possibilities, but also undermining live performance as the preferred way of experiencing music. Legacy aside, though, it’s charming seeing Les and his wife Mary Ford showing off their magical musical tools on this 1950s variety show.

Les Paul & Mary Ford on Alistair Cooke’s ‘Omnibus,'” 23 October 1953 :: via Boing Boing

Originally published at culture-making.com.

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