The man whose pioneering work with electric guitars led to the birth of modern rock music, Les Paul, has died in a New York hospital. He was 94. He is credited with developing the first solid-body electric guitar which went on sale in 1952. Eventually rock stars around the world used the Gibson guitars which bore his name. Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, the Who’s Pete Townsend and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page are all associated with the Les Paul sound.
But his influence did not rest there; he developed other influential innovations such as multi-track recoding and over-dubbing. Paul was also a successful performer in his own right. Together with his wife Mary Ford, he had eleven number one singles and 36 gold discs in the United States, including “Mockin’ Bird Hill and “How high the Moon.” He mastered his own quick-fingered technique which inspired a generation, and became known quite simply as the “father of the electric guitar”.