Les Paul’s impact on countless artists from Paul McCartney, Eddie Van Halen, and Slash to Bing Crosby, Tony Bennett, and Chet Atkins speaks to his status as a music legend whose virtuosic playing extended across all genres including jazz, country, R&B, and Rock.
As an artist, his breakthrough recording, “Lover” (1948), showcased a number of his studio innovations. These innovations led to hits with his wife Mary Ford including “How High The Moon” and 16 Top Ten songs between 1950 and 1954. His achievements are in stark contrast to an early letter from a teacher to his mother, which said: “Your boy, Lester, will never learn music.”
Les Paul’s musical career started in the Midwest as a teen playing in country bands as Red Hot Red and in his subsequent incarnation as Rhubarb Red. Before WWII, he formed the Les Paul trio. In the 1950s and early 1960s, Les Paul had a highly successful, performance and television career with Mary Ford.
After a lifetime of recordings, his final 2005 multi-Grammy award-winning album, American Made, World Played, featured Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, Sting, and Eric Clapton. The album demonstrated his continued influence on many of the world’s greatest musicians.
Les Paul & Mary Ford
Les Concert Solo
The Golden Era of Musicians
“The Father of Modern Music”
Les and Mary At Home
A Dream Partner
A Musical Love Story
Million Dollar Hits
College Concert Performance
Les Takes a Solo at Home
The Capitol Records Story
To see more of Les Paul’s awards click here.
Les Paul’s Grammy wins include Country Instrumental Performance in 1977 with Chet Atkins (Chester and Lester album), Hall of Fame for “How High The Moon” in 1979, Trustees Award in 1983, Technical Award in 2002, Pop Instrumental Performance for “Caravan” in 2006, and Rock Instrumental Performance for 69 Freedom Special in 2006.
Les Paul won a Lifetime Achievement Award Emmy in 2004.
Les accepting his Les Paul Trustees Lifetime Achievement Awards at 25th Grammys
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Les Paul was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1978.
Song Writers Hall of Fame
Les Paul won the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.