Les Paul, the inventor of the electric guitar, probably never envisioned a computer but would be probably excited about today’s Google Doodle, in honor of his 96th birthday. He not only invented the magnetic pickup system for amplifying guitars, he also helped start multi-track recording by shifting the heads of his tape deck to hit different portions of the tape surface so they could be recorded and then played back individually.
This all happened in his basement in Jackson Heights, Queens in the 1940s, maybe even a bit earlier. Les Paul then became one of the most popular recording artists in the world through his hits with Mary Ford. He was a master guitarist late into life, performing weekly in NY until his death a few years ago.
Similar to the Doodle for Dizzy Gillespie‘s birthday last year, it is not a round number that will be celebrated all over the web. The Google Doodle honors the man while at the same time showing off their (potential) contributions to technology and music. The Google Doodle can be strummed and you can record it too, but I guarantee you will never see Jimmy Page or Neil Young light up a stadium with the Doodle like a Gibson Les Paul. Not to rule anything out, but you can’t bend the strings!