Wisconsin History Day By Day

Related Web Sites:
Les Paul Biography

Musician and Inventor Les Paul

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Read More About It

"Les Paul: An American Original" by Mary Alice Shaughnessy

"Famous Wisconsin Musicians" by Susan Masino

"Contemporary Musicians," volume 2, edited by Michael LaBlanc

"Les Paul is a legend in music - both for his guitar virtuosity and his innovations in recording and electric guitar design" Milwaukee Journal, August 17, 2003



Interesting Fact:

Les Paul, also known as the "Wizard of Waukesha," was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the same day as the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Drifters, the Supremes and Bob Dylan.

Study Questions:

  • How was Bing Crosby involved in Paul's early recording innovations?
  • What was an early stage name used by Paul? What was the name he called his first attempt at a solid body guitar?
  • Who are some of the musicians that have been influenced by Les Paul?

    U.S. historical events that occurred on January 20:

    1801: John Marshall is appointed chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
    1981: Iran releases 52 American hostages after 444 days in captivity.

  • January 20

    January 20, 1988: Les Paul, musician, inventor and Waukesha native, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on this date. Paul was born in Waukesha on June 9, 1915, and was named Lester William Polfuss. He left his home as a young man and began a career in music. It was his innovations with the guitar and recording devices that have earned him a place in music history.

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