The Wizard of Waukesha

That’s what they called Les Paul in Wisconsin, the man who invented the solid body electric guitar and multi-track recording. He died august 13 at 94. The man who made rock ‘n’ roll and much of today’s popular music possible could also play. Here he is. After he shows what he can do with a guitar, there are some photos of his growing up in Waukesha, Wisconsin, just outside of Milwaukee, as well as an interview in which he tells how he got started fiddling with electronics and music.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Bdozer

    Thank you Dr. Veith for posting “The Wizard of Waukesha” without an overarching controversial issue and/or question. May I submit an observation that is completely personal, perhaps bias and probably more than a little selfish. My dad was born in 1914, died in 2006. Unlike the “Wizard of Waukesha” he was “a very common man” to everyone except his family. Dad was in the hospital recovering from a very bad explosion that happened in a WW II defense plant accident, while on another floor in the same hospital my mother was giving birth to yours truly. I started out going to a one room – one teacher (eight grades) school in upstate NY. Many of us will stop to observe and read about what it means to be an American today! What strikes me after reading about “The Wizard of Waukesha” is a Norman Rockwell calendar hanging on the kitchen wall, a quiet Sunday afternoon and perhaps “Vaya con dios playing on the radio.

  • Bdozer

    Thank you Dr. Veith for posting “The Wizard of Waukesha” without an overarching controversial issue and/or question. May I submit an observation that is completely personal, perhaps bias and probably more than a little selfish. My dad was born in 1914, died in 2006. Unlike the “Wizard of Waukesha” he was “a very common man” to everyone except his family. Dad was in the hospital recovering from a very bad explosion that happened in a WW II defense plant accident, while on another floor in the same hospital my mother was giving birth to yours truly. I started out going to a one room – one teacher (eight grades) school in upstate NY. Many of us will stop to observe and read about what it means to be an American today! What strikes me after reading about “The Wizard of Waukesha” is a Norman Rockwell calendar hanging on the kitchen wall, a quiet Sunday afternoon and perhaps “Vaya con dios playing on the radio.

  • Elizabeth F

    I am a big Les Paul fan. PBS once did a great bio on him.
    Thank you for posting this Dr. Veith.

  • Elizabeth F

    I am a big Les Paul fan. PBS once did a great bio on him.
    Thank you for posting this Dr. Veith.


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