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Gibson to Epiphone:100 Years of Les Paul, 50 of Guitar Legacy

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In light of insistent public demand, the organizers of the upcoming “100th Birthday of Les Paul” have issued more tickets (although, by this time, they’re probably all sold out, too). The grand event would be held on June 9 at New York City’s Times Square and feature legends like Joe Satriani, Steve Miller, and the Les Paul Trio.


Whether you are a veteran or a newbie music fan, it’s impossible to miss the name “Les Paul” in virtually every guitar store around the world. Brands from Gibson to Epiphone design and create their respective versions of the Les Paul standard. Who exactly was Les Paul and why was he that influential in the music scene?

A Legend’s Journey

Born in 1915 as Lester William Polsfuss, this Wisconsin native faced discouragement at every turn of his life. Nevertheless, he grew up to become a talented musician with knowledge of the harmonica, guitar, and banjo. He found his initial calling in jazz, playing for singers like Nat King Cole and Kate Smith.

However, Les Paul was probably more well-known for improvising instruments. In 1941, he took some strings and attached them to a guitar-shaped board, calling it “the log.” Paul would later team up with Gibson to create the first Les Paul guitar in the market, debuting in 1952. The guitar remains one of Gibson’s most iconic models to this day.

Despite shattering his elbow in an accident in 1948, Paul continued to play music and release dozens of records, the first ones recorded from his Los Angeles home. In 2005, he released his final album “American Made, World Played,” which featured other artists like Jeff Beck, Sting, and Eric Clapton.

Paul died of complications from pneumonia in 2009 and sadly won't actually see his centenery celebration. However, by that time, his name has become synonymous with good music.

Legacy of a Design

Epiphone’s Les Paul line is basically identical to Gibson’s line, but  quality Epiphone guitars are generally more affordable than Gibson guitars. That’s because they make their guitars in Asian plants and use less costly materials (but with no compromise to quality). Epiphone guitars are great for the budget-conscious aspirant.

You can easily get your hands on  Epiphone's electro acoustic guitars and a host of other brands from our online store on the Rainbow Music website, where naturally you'll be spoiled for Les Paul choice! The man may no longer be part of this world, but his contributions to today’s music will keep his legend alive in millions of musical memories.


“More Tickets Announced for Les Paul 100th Anniversary Celebration,” Grateful Web, May 4, 2015

“The Les Paul Foundation Announces the Official 100th Birthday of Les Paul,” Les Paul Foundation, March 25, 2015