Les Paul the " Wizard of Waukesha " was born Lester William Polsfuss in 1915 to George and Evelyn Polsfuss in Waukesha Wisconsin. His greatest natural gifts are perfect pitch, a love for music, and the curiosity and persistance of an inventor, always trying to find out "how things tick ". Les Paul must be consisdered not only one of the more influential players of his day but also a major contributor to both the development of the state of the guitar itself as well as the musician who more than any other is responsible for the development of multi-track recording techniques.
His first professional job was doubling on the guitar and harmonica at the age of thirteen under the name of "Red Hot Red". One night while playing to an outdoor audience someone in the back called out that Les's voice could not be heard. To amplify the vocals he attached his mothers radio to a telephone mouthpiece creating a public address system. Again a voice called out but this time complaining that Les's guitar could not be heard. This time he responded by taking his fathers radio, the other end of the telephone, and the needle from the family Victrola. By jamming the Victrola's needle into the guitar bridge and connecting all of the other components together he formed a stereo system. Both his voice and guitar could now be heard in the back of the room.
According to Les in the 1920's he began experimenting with making multi-track recordings on his mothers piano roll. After noticing that a piano key would be struck whenever there was a hole in the paper roll he began to think that if he punched a hole somewhere else in the paper he could make a different key go down, he tried it out and it worked. Pretty soon he was having a field day with piano rolls, adding extra notes to the compositions of composers like Fats Waller. This addittion of what were in essence "overdubbs" to a piano roll was in fact the first step in Les Pauls career towards the development of a true multi-track recording.