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Byline: Christopher L. Tyner
Determined to land a New York gig for his desperate music trio in 1937, Les Paul went to the Broadway offices of well-known band leader Paul Whiteman full of hope.
But the 22-year-old guitarist and his two band mates, instruments strapped to their backs, were quickly shown the door by Whiteman's secretary. Whiteman, it seemed, had no time for them.
Standing in the outer hallway, Paul suddenly saw a new opportunity move intoview. Fred Waring, one of that era's biggest band leaders, had just walked outof the men's room.
Although one door closed, another opened. Because he'd made the effort to chase the first opportunity, which had flopped, a second had opened up. Paul asked Waring if he'd let his group play for him right then and there while he waited for the elevator to arrive.
Before the renowned leader of the Pennsylvanians band could discourage them -- "I've already got 62 Pennsylvanians, and I'm having a hard time feeding them," Waring told them -- Paul's group was furiously playing the hit "After You've Gone." The trio strummed faster and faster as they saw the …