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Les Paul (1915–2009) developed a reputation in modern music beyond his status as a successful performer and guitar innovator through his pioneering work with multitrack recording. Born Lester Polsfuss in Waukesha, Wisconsin, the nine-year-old Paul first picked up the harmonica from a street musician. Soon, he was playing for money in the streets. He was attracted to electronics ...

Source: Rock Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
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(Guitar, 1915–2009) At 13 Lester Polfus was playing country music semi-professionally and working on sound-related inventions. In the 1930s and 1940s, he worked his way from Wisconsin to New York, eventually playing for blues shouter Georgia White and bandleader Fred Waring before settling in Hollywood and working with Bing Crosby and others. Paul also developed ideas for an ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley
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Liverpool’s most famous sons, The Beatles, were wartime babies: Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr) born 7 July 1940; John Winston Lennon born 9 October 1940; James Paul McCartney born 18 June 1942; and George Harrison born 24 February 1943. All four families moved at least once at the end of the war as Liverpool was rebuilt and renovated. They were ...

Source: The Beatles Revealed, by Hugh Fielder
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Spring Origins of The Quarry Men The skiffle craze that swept Britain in the mid-Fifties, spearheaded by Lonnie Donegan, was a defining influence on all four Beatles. They badgered their parents for cheap acoustic guitars and strummed clumsily along to songs like ‘Cumberland Gap’ and ‘Rock Island Line’. John Lennon, a rebel looking for a cause, was ...

Source: The Beatles Revealed, by Hugh Fielder
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February George Joins Despite his friendship with Paul McCartney, George Harrison didn’t get to see The Quarry Men until 6 February at the Wilson Hall, Garston. ‘I remember being very impressed with John’s big thick sideboards and Teddy Boy clothes.’ He did an impromptu audition on the bus home. A few days later McCartney asked John Lennon what ...

Source: The Beatles Revealed, by Hugh Fielder
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January Beginning of Lennon and McCartney The gigs started drying up for The Quarry Men in the autumn of 1958 and by January 1959 there was nothing on the horizon. John Lennon had also been devastated by the death of his mother, killed by a speeding car. George Harrison drifted off to join the Les Stewart Quartet but Lennon, ...

Source: The Beatles Revealed, by Hugh Fielder
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May Stuart Sutcliffe Joins Although the bookings had dried up again at the beginning of 1960, John Lennon’s art school friend Stuart Sutcliffe was persuaded to join the band on bass. Having sold a painting for £65 he was able to buy a big, stylish Hofner bass that he couldn’t actually play. But no matter; it looked good and ...

Source: The Beatles Revealed, by Hugh Fielder
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March Second Hamburg Stint The Beatles returned to Hamburg at the end of March for a three-month residency at the Top Ten Club. The money was marginally better and Paul McCartney was able to afford to buy his first trademark Hofner violin-shaped bass, but the hours were longer: seven hours a night, eight at weekends. Sometimes they shared the ...

Source: The Beatles Revealed, by Hugh Fielder
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January The Decca Audition Using his contacts as a record shop manager, Brian Epstein approached Decca Records and, after A&R manager Mike Smith had seen The Beatles at the Cavern, they were asked to audition in London on 1 January 1962. The band endured a 10-hour drive down on New Year’s Eve in stormy conditions and the following ...

Source: The Beatles Revealed, by Hugh Fielder
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Between early 1963 and early 1964 The Beatles went from being virtual unknowns to international pop superstars, a position they maintained over the next two years by an intense schedule of recording and touring, as well as two major feature films. They did it by writing consistently better and better songs, often under extreme pressure, and by ...

Source: The Beatles Revealed, by Hugh Fielder
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January ‘Please Please Me’ ‘Gentlemen, you have just recorded your first number one,’ producer George Martin told The Beatles after they’d completed ‘Please Please Me’. He was right … just. It was released on 11 January, the same day that The Beatles appeared on the influential Thank Your Lucky Stars networked ITV show. The single made the Top ...

Source: The Beatles Revealed, by Hugh Fielder
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January First US No. 1 When ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ shot to No. 1 in the Cashbox chart on 18 January, having leapt from No. 43 to the top slot, The Beatles were in Paris on a three-week run at the Olympia, staying at the grandiose George V Hotel where they were also writing songs for ...

Source: The Beatles Revealed, by Hugh Fielder
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February Ringo Marries Maureen Cox On 11 February a tonsil-less Ringo married Maureen Cox, the Liverpool girlfriend he’d been ‘going steady’ with since the Cavern Club days, at London’s Caxton Hall Registry Office. The ceremony was attended by Mr and Mrs Lennon and George Harrison who quipped, ‘Two down and two to go’. Paul McCartney was on holiday ...

Source: The Beatles Revealed, by Hugh Fielder
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The earliest recorded dynasty in China, the Shang (c. 1766–c. 1122 bc), developed the system of writing that today offers a record of Chinese musical activity spanning 5,000 years. From these writings can be gained information on the destruction and reinvention of music theory through centuries of change: its mythological origins, theoretical basis, an inventory of court ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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The South Asian region is centred on India and includes the neighbouring modern nations of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. The region now called Pakistan saw the rise and fall of the Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world. Scarce archeological objects showing drums and an arched harp give a ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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