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Tuesday, 9 June 2020


Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping (40 years in retailing), the golden age of Hollywood (including westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. 

This is a series of very short items that have nothing to do with the current news agenda.  Swift diversions for a moment or two.

Apropos of Nothing #53 – 9 June 1915

Les Paul was born on 9 June, 1915.  He was a jazz, country and blues guitarist, a luthier (a stringed instrument builder and repairer) and inventor. He was a master of multi-layered recording techniques. He pioneered ‘close miking’ and ‘echo delay’ recording. 

In 1949, he married Iris Colleen Summers who changed her name to Mary Ford and they performed together many times on records, on radio and television and in concerts.  They were hugely popular and successful.  In 1951, for example, they sold six million records.  They divorced in 1964. Mary died at 53 in 1977.

In 1948, Les Paul broke his right arm in a car accident and had it set at a 90 degree angle so he could still play guitar. 

Les Paul died in hospital in White Plains, New York at the age of 94 suffering from severe pneumonia on 13th Aug 2009.

  Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s Gold Top

Sources: Various

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