Les Paul Big Sound Experience on display at Summerfest: “Our hope is people are inspired”

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MILWAUKEE -- The sounds we hear during Summerfest's 11-day run are in part thanks to an innovator from Waukesha -- Les Paul. Les Paul continues to inspire musicians today -- and he was celebrated this year at Maier Festival Park.

Les Paul

Les Paul

"Sound has been the most important part of my life," Les Paul says in a video that played at the Les Paul Big Sound Experience at Summerfest.

Paul began playing music when he was eight years old. He was often referred to as the Wizard of Waukesha -- as he was born and raised in southeastern Wisconsin.

"Les was very emotionally attached to this area, so it was important to be back here," Sue Baker, program director with the Les Paul Foundation said.

The Les Paul Foundation created the interactive mobile museum on display during this year's Big Gig -- a 76.5-foot-long, 28-foot-wide trailer that expands to a 1,000-square-foot display driven by Gorden Marks.

Les Paul

Les Paul

"It`s an honor. You get people blowing horns and waving and thumbs up -- and that`s the best part about it," Marks said.

When the display was parked, thousands had the chance to experience Les Paul's life.

"Our hope is that as people go through, they are inspired," Baker said.

Les Paul was a gold record recording artist with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

"I want sounds that have never been heard on Earth. I want new sounds," Les Paul says in a video that played at the Les Paul Big Sound Experience at Summerfest.

In 1948, that dream became a reality. Paul is credited with the development of multi-track recording -- a recording technique that changed music. Paul also helped design the solid body electric guitar.

Les Paul

Les Paul

"Big name guitar stars often would talk about Les and say 'if it wasn`t for Les Paul, I wouldn`t be able to do the things I do today,'" Baker said.

And music would sound very different.

Les Paul

Les Paul

The Les Paul Big Sound Experience will be coming to Les Paul Middle School in Waukesha in September 2015.

Les Paul Big Sound Experience Tour Dates & Locations:

July 9-11, 2015

Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience at Summer NAMM Trade Show in Nashville, Tennessee

July 24-26, 2015

Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience Appears at Maker Faire in Detroit, Michigan

August 6 – 9, 2015

Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience at the Ohio State Fair

August 12, 2015

Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience at Hard Rocksino in Cleveland, Ohio

August 14 – 16, 2015

Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.

September 4-7, 2015

Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience at the Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul

September 10-11, 2015

Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience at the Les Paul Middle School Central Campus in Waukesha, Wisconsin

September 23, 2015

Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience at Stax Music Academy Soulsville in Memphis, Tennessee

September 25-26, 2015

Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience at Hard Rock Cafe Memphis, Tennessee on Beale Street

October 2-4, 2015

Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience at The Texas State Fair in Dallas, Texas

October 7, 2015

Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience at the Hard Rock Cafe Dallas, Texas

October 17-18, 2015

Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience at the Arlington International Guitar Show in Arlington, Texas

October 31-November 3, 2015

Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience at the Experience Music Project in Seattle, Washington

December 18-20, 2015

Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience at Pier 39 Hard Rock Cafe in San Francisco, California

Les Paul died in 2009 as a result of complications from pneumonia. He is buried at the Prairie Home Cemetery in Waukesha.

Les Paul

Les Paul

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Les Paul Foundation.

CLICK HERE to visit LesPaul.com -- to learn more about Les Paul's life and legacy.