Happy Birthday to Les Paul, born June 9, 1915 (died August 12, 2009) in Wisconsin. Born Lester William Polsfuss, he started playing the harmonica at age eight, then learned the banjo and guitar.
In 1962, he patented the Gibson Les Paul guitar which he invented, and contracted with Gibson Guitar Corporation to build. Les Paul and his wife, Mary Ford, recorded together and sold millions of records over their career.
One of my favorites from the early 1950s is "Mockingbird Hill," and yes, I was around when the song first came out.