Lester William Polsfuss, known as Les Paul (June 9, 1915 – August 13, 2009) was a musician and inventor. He was a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar, which "made the sound of rock and roll possible." He is credited with inventing or discovering many recording innovations including overdubbing (also known as sound on sound), delay effects such as tape delay, phasing effects, and multitrack recording.
His innovative talents extended into his playing style, including licks, trills, chording sequences, fretting techniques and timing, which set him apart from his contemporaries and inspired many of the guitarists of the present day. He recorded with his wife Mary Ford in the 1950s and they sold millions of hit records.
His experimenting sometimes got him in trouble.
He nearly electrocuted himself to death at home in the 1940s, and in 1948 he was in a near-fatal car accident that shattered his right arm and elbow. But he famously told doctors to set it in the cast in a guitar-picking position so he could continue to play.
Paul also was responsible for changes in the way music was recorded with his advances in multi-track engineering, tape delay, close-in microphones for vocals and playback speeds.