Les Paul’s family and friends will gather at , 605 S. Prairie Ave., Saturday, Sept. 10, to dedicate his gravesite memorial.
The 10:30 a.m. event will provide a first glimpse of the 500-square foot granite monument and a chance to hear Les Paul’s family and close friends recount moments with the famous guitar player and inventor, according to a press release from the Les Paul Foundation.
The event is open to the public and there is no charge.
After viewing several proposals, the Les Paul Estate commissioned Rock of Ages of Barre, Vermont to design, build and install the granite memorial. Ford Construction of Waukesha laid the foundation and New Eden Landscape Architecture of Milwaukee designed the landscaping.
Visitors walk into the monument to read about Paul. Granite slabs containing Paul’s biography and a list of his most significant awards encircle benches for visitors. Paul, who chose the hometown location, directed that his mother be laid next to him. While choosing the site, Paul said he hoped the site would be a place where his family, friends and fans could sit and reflect.
“The memorial shares Les’ legacy with all who visit the site. We are very pleased with how everything looks. Les chose to be in Waukesha. We know the people of his hometown will cherish this site as Les Paul cherished his hometown,” said Michael Braunstein, executive director of the Les Paul Foundation.
Those unable to attend can watch a live stream of the event here.
About Les Paul
Lester William Polsfuss was born in Waukesha on June 9, 1915 and died in White Plains, NY on August 12, 2009. His best-known stage name of Les Paul surfaced during his early jazz performances in Chicago.
Paul credited his mother with constant encouragement, his Waukesha teachers with a willingness to help find answers to his relentless curiosity and the Waukesha community for its support in his formative years.
While in elementary school, Lester was singing and playing his harmonica and guitar for local audiences. His extensive performing career took him across North America, Europe and Asia. His insatiable curiosity and quest for the perfect sound led to the development of the solid body electric guitar, multiple recording techniques and to the invention of the 8-track tape recorder. In the 1950s, Les Paul and his wife Mary Ford became household names as a result of their radio and television shows.
Guitar players on all continents know his name. It’s on the headstock of their guitars. Paul’s guitar-playing style is studied and copied by countless players, those recognized and those who are rising.
About the Les Paul Foundation
In 1995, Les Paul established his foundation to encourage young musicians to pursue their dreams. The foundation, designed to remain dormant until the legend’s passing, funds programs such as The Wisconsin School Music Program and the Grammy Camp. As the Les Paul Foundation grows, additional projects and partnerships are developing. Extensive information on Les Paul and the foundation is available at www.lespaulfoundation.org.