August 22, 2009

Musician Les Paul remembered in Milwaukee

An official at Milwaukee's Discovery World museum said nearly 1,500 people attended a public memorial for the late musician Les Paul.

Discovery World marketing director Richard Cieslak told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Friday's event gave area residents a chance to remember the so-called Wizard of Waukesha who died of pneumonia Aug. 13 at the age of 94.

It was a steady stream all day, Cieslak said By noon, it was nearly shoulder to shoulder. We were humbled and very proud to be able to do this for the family.

Discovery World President Joel Brennan said the number of visitors to the memorial was not surprising given Paul's place in the music industry.

His appeal crossed dimensions and generations, influencing everyone from the Andrews Sisters to the Jonas Brothers, he said of the inventor of the solid-body electric guitar. He had something to do with creating a more interesting world, and that's worth celebrating.

The Journal Sentinel said Friday's memorial was followed by a private service and Paul's funeral at a cemetery in Waukesha, Wis.