Two For Tuesday: Les Paul & Mary Ford (Baby Boom Years)

Guitarist, inventor, and technical genius Les Paul (who lent his name to a fairly popular guitar) was introduced to singer Mary Ford by Gene Autry in 1946. They were married in 1949 and divorced in 1964, ending their collaboration. In between, they had 16 top ten hits, beginning in 1950. They also starred in an interstitial (a short TV program that plays between longer ones) in 1954-1955 called “Les Paul and Mary Ford At Home.” Our local religious broadcaster, who plays a lot of old TV programs most evenings, has a collection of them, and they’re pretty enjoyable. A couple of examples here.

Here Les plays and Mary sings “The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise,” which reached #2 in 1951. A collection of their hits, The World Is Still Waiting For The Sunrise, was released in 1974, and I understand a lot of rockers went out and bought it, and were disappointed that there was no rock & roll on it…

Later in 1951, Les and Mary released “How High The Moon,” which found itself at the top of the charts. Mary’s vocal is multitracked. Les was one of the first people to experiment with eight-track recording, and they recorded this in their garage, where he had set up a studio. They didn’t call him “The Wizard Of Waukesha” for nothing…

There are a lot of the TV shows on YouTube as well as other film clips of them performing together, where you can see that Mary was no slouch on the guitar herself.

Les Paul and Mary Ford, your Two for Tuesday, December 19, 2017.