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Les Paul

  • Inventor of the solid body electric guitar and namesake for the Gibson Les Paul Guitar, one of the top-selling guitars in the world
  • Created innovative audio techniques including overdubbing, tape delay, and multi-track recording
  • Member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and National Inventors Hall of Fame

Les Paul will forever be synonymous with the electric guitar.

Paul was drawn to performing music at an early age, specifically interested in experimenting with sound-related inventions. He was drawn to explore and create a stringed instrument that could make electronic sound without distorting. The result was the creation of the Gibson Les Paul guitar, which went on to become one of the most popular of all electric guitar models, serving as a staple instrument for rock 'n' roll's guitar elite. Rock musicians associated with the Gibson Les Paul include Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Mike Bloomfield, Eddie Van Halen, and Jimmy Page.

Paul is also credited with creating many innovative audio techniques including overdubbing, tape delay, and multi-track recording, all of which aided in making the rock 'n' roll sound possible. In speaking of Paul and his mark on the rock music industry, Eddie Van Halen stated "without the things you've done, I wouldn't be able to do half the things I do."

Paul was a noted musician in his own right, recording two No. 1 hits with his wife, Mary Ford, in the early 1950s and recording a Grammy-winning album of instrumental duets with Chet Atkins, as Chester and Lester in the late 1970s. He won two additional Grammys at the age of 90 for his album American Made/World Played. Up until his death he continued to be one of the primary icons and spokespeople for Nashville-based Gibson Guitar.


Inducted to the Music City Walk of Fame on November 6, 2011.