Les Paul: Inventor, Musician, Educator, Legend

Les Paul was an inventor, an award-winning musician, an innovator and a creative genius. Like Thomas Edison or Steve Jobs changed their worlds, Les Paul changed the world of music. He was the creator of the solid-body electric guitar, multi-track recording, echo, over-dubbing and other musical technologies. Les never stopped exploring and his curiosity led to innovations that musicians still use today. He is known as the “Father of Modern Music” and the “Wizard of Waukesha.” Famous musicians, producers and engineers alike owe their careers to Les Paul and to this day, pay homage to him. Every time we hear an electric guitar shred or download our favorite music, we owe it to Les Paul. 

Mary Ford – Trailblazer

Mary Ford’s impeccable voice, masterful guitar playing, and hit-making collaborations onstage and in the recording studio with husband, Les Paul, made musical history.

The Inventor

Acclaimed as the “Father of Modern Music”, Les Paul is known for numerous inventions that changed both the individual lives of musicians and the mechanics of the music industry in the twentieth century. His influence is still profound, having been a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar as well as numerous techniques including multi-track recording, digital delay, reverb, and more.

The Musician

Les Paul’s technological wizardry and inventions transformed the music industry. His legacy as a consummate musician has had a global impact on countless artists from Paul McCartney, Eddie Van Halen, and Slash to Bing Crosby, Tony Bennett, and Chet Atkins. Les’ musical technique and virtuosic playing extended across all genres including jazz, country, R&B, and Rock. His multi-generational influence and contributions speak to his status as a legendary artist.


Les Paul created the Les Paul Foundation in 1995 to extend his spirit of innovation through grants to educational organizations and institutions including, Little Kids Rock, Soulsville Foundation/Stax Music Academy, Notes for Notes, Guitars For Vets, and many others.

The Foundation

The Les Paul Foundation inspires innovative and creative thinking by sharing the legacy of Les Paul through support of music education, recording, innovation and medical research related to hearing. It’s also a great resource for anyone wanting to learn more about the Wizard of Waukesha. Click here to see the list of our grantees and to apply for grants.

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