Les Paul's legacy plays on - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Les Paul's legacy plays on


LA CROSSE (WKOW) - Les Paul's design made his guitars unique.

Rather than a hollow body, prone to feedback when the volume goes up, his Les Paul guitar was a solid piece of wood.

The solid-body guitar was laughed at in the 50's because people called it a plank of wood. In fact, his first solid body guitar he nicknamed the plank.

Dave Rogers owns Dave's Guitar Shop in La Crosse.  He's watched Paul perform over the years and he's spoken with him on a number of occasions.

"He made you feel like a buddy after talking with him for two minutes," Rogers said.

Rogers collects, buys, sells and trades guitars.  Among them, the Les Paul which Gibson began producing in 1952.

Paul and Gibson kept making improvements.  It took seven years to get it just right.

A guitar Rogers says is worth between $300,000 and $500,000.

"That's like the ultimate dream guitar. It's the most sought after, most desired solid body guitar in the world."

Rogers says most everyone has played the Les Paul.

"Duane Allman, Michael Bloomfield, any name you can think of. They were with the Les Paul. That was the guitar."

And the design is as popular today as it's ever been.

"Each time they try to experiment with something different, something new, it always goes back to what was done in '59. That's what it always comes down to."

To this day, teenagers dream of owning a Les Paul, but may not even know for whom the guitar is named.

This is the man they have to thank.

"To live a life like that, to be loved and thought of like he was, what a lucky man... what a life he lived."

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