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Saturday Declared 'Les Paul Day'

Gala this weekend will be in honor of what would have been the inventor's 97th birthday

This Saturday, Mahwah will celebrate the life and legacy of one of its legends – Les Paul.

Last month, June 9 was officially declared “Las Paul Day” in Mahwah by township Mayor Bill Laforet. The day will be dedicated, he said, to acknowledging the life and contributions of Paul, who is best known for inventing the solid-body electric guitar, among many other guitar, recording and music-related inventions.

Though Paul was born in Wisconsin in 1915, he lived in Mahwah from 1952 until his death in 2009. June 9, 2012 would have been the inventor’s 97th birthday.

To celebrate “Les Paul Day,” the is hosting a gala birthday party in his honor at the Trustees’ Pavilion of at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The event will feature live music by Lou Pallo, who played in the ‘Les Paul Trio’ with the inventor, and Tommy Doyle and Sandy Cory, who released a tribute album to Paul last year.

In an , Pallo described Paul as a “perfectionist, a genius, a great entertainer and he didn’t even realize the talent he had. I learned a lot from him.”

A silent auction and a live auction at the event will raise money for the museum. The live auction will feature music memorabilia, including two signed Les Paul guitars – one by George Benson and another by Eric Clapton. The museum will also choose winners of its raffle of two guitars signed by Les Paul and some of his bandmates. Raffle tickets, which can still be purchased on the Mahwah Museum’s website, are $25. The museum says the guitars are worth about $6,000.

The event will also include hors d’oevres, drinks, and birthday cake.

The gala is the culmination of the yearlong Mahwah Museum’s ‘Les Paul in Mahwah’ exhibit that has brought national attention to the small museum on Franklin Turnpike. The exhibit, which runs through the end of the month, recreates parts of the workshop and studio that Paul had built in his Mahwah home. It also houses displays of photographs, videos, prototypes and, of course, guitars.

Tickets to Saturday’s gala are $25, of which $10 is tax deductible as a contribution to the Museum. Get more information about the event, and purchase tickets, at the museum’s website.

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Have a question or a news tip? Email the editor Jessica Mazzola at jessica.mazzola@patch.com. Or, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your email inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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