ad news: Les Paul, the axeman who helped invent the electric guitar—and for whom the famous Gibson model is named—is dead at 94. The cause was complications from pneumonia.
Paul's career in music was long, tangled, and filled with highlights. He built one of the first prototypes of a solid body guitar—that's a guitar without a hole in the middle—in 1939. He had a radio and television show in the '40s and '50s with singer (and then-wife) Mary Ford, The Les Paul And Mary Ford Show. He was a pioneer in the field of multitrack recording. And up until his death, he hosted a much-beloved Monday night residency at the Iridium jazz club in Midtown, performing every week in spite of crippling arthritis. We recently published a story about one of those inspiring concerts, which can be read—and which plays as a good tribute still—here.