Guitar legend Les Paul, seen here in 2004, changed the course of music with the electric guitar and multitrack recording and had a string of hits. He died Thursday, Aug. 13, 2009 in White Plains, N.Y.
Les Paul and his wife, Mary Ford, perform with their guitars Nov. 5, 1951. Paul met Ford, then known as Colleen Summers, in the 1940s while working as a studio musician in Los Angeles. For seven years in the 1950s, Paul and Ford broadcast a TV show from their home in Mahwah, N.J. Ford died in 1977, 15 years after they divorced.
Les Paul repairs one of the many control boards in the control room at his Oakland, N.J., home on Dec. 20, 1963. A tinkerer and musician since childhood, he experimented with guitar amplification for years before coming up in 1941 with what he called The Log, a 4x4 piece of wood strung with steel strings. In 1952, Gibson Guitars began production on the Les Paul guitar.
Les Paul, right, and Chet Atkins, left, are presented Grammys by Dolly Parton and Freddie Fender, second from right, at 19th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, Feb. 19, 1977. With Mary Ford, his wife from 1949 to 1962, he earned 36 gold records for hits including "Vaya Con Dios" and "How High the Moon," which both hit No. 1. Many of their songs used overdubbing techniques that Paul had helped develop.
Les Paul, center, signs former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page's chest after signing his guitar at a 72nd birthday party thrown for Paul by Gibson guitar company at New York's Hard Rock Caf
Paul McCartney, right, tries out a custom-made left handed "Les Paul Lite" guitar presented to him by designer, Les Paul, left, in New York on May 3, 1988. In recent years, Paul played Monday nights at New York night spots and such stars as Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler, Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Van Halen came to pay tribute and sit in with him.
Guitar legend Les Paul smiles at the Iridium Jazz Club in the New York, Feb. 26, 2007. Paul played there Monday nights into his 90s, sitting on a stool and alternating music with personal stories of his childhood in Waukesha, Wis.
Guitar legend and innovator Les Paul is seen before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the first inning of a baseball game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Milwaukee Brewers in Milwaukee, June 20, 2008. Paul, 94, died of pneumonia Aug. 13, 2009, in White Plains, N.Y.