Les Paul is honored - by rock-and-roll people.
- Cleveland - The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will pay tribute to
the "father of the electric guitar" this fall.
Les Paul will be honored at the annual American Music Masters series,
a weeklong event that begins Nov. 10, Rock Hall officials said today.
A tribute concert - artists will be named later - is scheduled Nov.
15 at Cleveland's State Theater.
Paul, 93, a Waukesha, Wis., native, is hoping to attend, said Rock
Hall President and CEO Terry Stewart.
"You have an inductee who in some ways maybe has had one of the
biggest influences of all our inductees with the creation of his
solid-body guitar, overdubbing ... not to mention his musical styling
and his ability to play," Stewart said. "He's become an idol and an
icon to people in the rock world, as well as people in jazz and
Paul began playing guitar as a child and by 13 was performing
semiprofessionally as a country guitarist. He later made his mark as
a jazz-pop musician, recording hits such as "How High the Moon" with
his wife, singer Colleen Summers.
He built a solid-body electric guitar in 1941 - an invention born
from his frustration that audiences were unable to hear him play.
In 1952, Gibson introduced the Les Paul model, which became the
instrument of choice for musicians including Duane Allman, Eric
Clapton and Jimmy Page.
"It's not just his innovation and his musical playing, but sort of
the residual effects of that guitar," Stewart said. "It's become the
beginning point for so many people in music, particularly rock music."
Paul still performs weekly at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City.
He was inducted into the early influence category of the Rock Hall in
Paul is only the second living recipient of the annual American Music
Masters award, which began in 1996 to pay tribute to artists who
helped change American culture. Jerry Lee Lewis was the first living
recipient in 2007. Past recipients include Woody Guthrie, Muddy
Waters and Sam Cooke.