Introduced in 1952 as an answer to the runaway popularity of Fender's Telecaster model that came out in 1950, the Gibson Les Paul was a collaboration between Gibson president Ted McCarty and legendary jazz guitarist and electronics inventor Les Paul. Along with the Fender Stratocaster and Telecaster, it is one of the three most popular electric guitar designs in the world.
Aside from the unique body design, the Les Paul had other features that set the instrument apart from others. Although it was a solid body guitar, the strings were always mounted on the top like the company's hollow body guitars rather than through the body as found on many Fender models. An array of pickup options was also available giving a choice of inherent sounds. The double-coil Humbucker pickup was a Gibson innovation which cancelled the hum found in single coil and magnetic pickups. This pickup was introduced in 1957 to replace the Les Paul's original single coil P-90 pickups. The weight of the instrument was a result of the mahohogany and maple construction,both heavy woods. As design advances evolved, the company was able to make Les Pauls for every level of player and budget,with the exception of the complete novice. This beginner market was served by the Gibson Melody Maker, which despite the absence of the Les Paul nameplate, consistently followed the design and appearance of the Les Pauls.
Over the years the Les Paul has become an ever-present staple of all things rockin'. To follow are some of the Les Paul's more celebrated users.