American jazz and country guitarist Lester William Polsfuss, known Les Paul, was honored today as Google displayed his own playable guitar as search engine homepage Doodle.
The interactive doodle has a digital version of an electric guitar, called Gibson Les Paul, that is playable by hovering the cursor over the 'Google shaped doodle'. Today is Les Paul's 96th birthday.
Les Paul had developed an interest in music at the age of 8 when he started to play the harmonica, followed by banjo and finally moved to the love of his life - the guitar. It was during this time that he invented a neck-worn harmonica holder, which allowed him to play the harmonica hands-free while accompanying himself on the guitar.
The Gibson Les Paul is a solid body electric guitar that was designed in 1941, but finally went on sale in 1952. It was designed by Ted McCarty, president of Gibson Guitar Corporation, in collaboration with popular guitarist Les Paul, whom Gibson enlisted to endorse the new model. It is one of the most well-known electric guitar types in the world, along with the Fender Stratocaster and Telecaster.
In 1988 Les Paul was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2005 in the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He continued to play and perform live well into his 90s. In 2006, he won two Grammys at the age of 90. Les Paul died on August 12, 2009 at the age of 94.
Google has now become more frequent with animated and interactive doodles. The electric guitar brings back memories for me of exchanging riffs with friends and wearing out cassette tapes as I meticulously learned songs. Today, we’re attempting to recreate that experience with a doodle celebrating the birthday of musician and inventor Les Paul, said Alexander Chen, Designer (and musician), Google Creative Lab.
As well as his guitar work, Les Paul experimented in his garage with innovative recording techniques like multitracking and tape delay. In keeping with this spirit of tinkering, those of you in the U.S. can click the black 'compose' button to record your own 30-second track. Just strum the strings or trigger notes with the letters or numbers on your keyboards. Clicking the button again will display a link to share the songs you’ve made, said Chen.
I hope you have as much fun playing with and sharing the doodle as we did making it (special thanks to engineers Kristopher Hom and Joey Hurst and doodle team lead Ryan Germick for their work). Crank up your computer volume and make some music!, Chen concluded.