Today’s Playable ‘Google Doodle’ Guitar Marks Les Paul’s 96th Birthday

In order to celebrate the 96th birthday of the electric guitar pioneer, Les Paul, (he died in 2009) Google has created one of its most complex doodles – a playable and recordable ‘guitar’.

When you’re searching for something on Google today, you’ll notice a fascinating instrument at the top of the page: it’s a playable electric guitar built in the shape of the Google logo, paying homage to Les Paul, the country and jazz guitarist, songwriter and inventor, who would have been 96 years old today.

The search engine company’s logo is made up of strings, which can be strummed with the mouse. One can also play notes on a keyboard. If you click the rectangular record button placed where the bottom part of the second “g” in the word “Google” would be, you will save every played note.

Moreover, it creates a URL that you can send to others. Here is where it gets even more interesting: send the URL to someone, and when that person pastes that URL into the address bar, you can play a duet together.  If you click the doodle itself, it will redirect you to sites, where you can find information about Les Paul.

Les Paul, one of the first electric guitarists and a builder of one of the first solid-body electric guitars, was born on June 9, 1915 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. First signs of interest in music developed at the age of eight when he started to play the harmonica, followed by banjo and finally moved to the love of his life – the guitar. He had formed his own Les Paul Trio in the 1930s and performed long with Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters in the 1940s. He also had his own radio program.

He designed a solid body electric guitar in 1941, but it finally went on sale by the Gibson Guitar Company in 1952. He  was a pioneer in developing multi-track recording and  he invented the eight-track tape recorder and the technique of overdubbing. In 1988 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2005 in the National Inventors Hall of Fame. In 2006, at the age of 90, he won two Grammys. Les Paul died on August 12, 2009. He was 94.

For a dozen years, Google has been occasionally swapping its everyday logo for a doodle. The Google doodles have gained great popularity over the past few years. The Google doodle team has put out commemorative doodles on numerous events of international or national importance, ranging from news events, birthdays, death anniversaries and important dates in history. Google estimates it has created more than 900 doodles since 1998. And 270 of them were created in 2010. Some appear globally, and others are tailored for local markets. [via The Telegraph (UK), Daily Mail (UK) and Mashable]

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