Les Paul & Mary Ford

Medley of Les & Mary' NEW SOUND

Medley of Les's NEW SOUND

Les & Mary's  Vaya Con Dios



Dad always had a guitar in his hands while he was at home.  While in the kitchen I noticed he was playing the same musical phrase over and over again on the record player and then playing it on his guitar for days at end.  I asked who he was listening to and he said, Django Reinhardt, who I found out later was his idol.  Three weeks later we were performing in Las Vegas, and during the show I swear I heard Django's phrase that dad was practicing.  So when we got off the stage, I asked dad, did I hear Django's phrase?  He smiled and said,

"Yeah . . . .  but it's my phrase now."  

Dads way of telling me that's the way it works.

There’s a great scene in the Les Paul documentary Chasing a Sound where Miles Davis complains about not reaching Les’ level of success.  Miles says, “You know what? I’d give anything if I could get a hit record.  What’s the secret?” Les answers, “It’s simple. Play the melody. Play ‘Mockingbird Hill.’” Miles says, “I wouldn’t be caught dead playing ‘Mockingbird Hill.’” To which Les replies, “That’s why you’re hungry, Miles.  If you want to play, you’ve got to play for the people.”

Les Paul and Mary Ford LISTERINE® TV Show

Don't Hear Music...Click Below

The Entertainer


People listen with their eyes!

with a reenactment of their live stage show from the 1960s.

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Les fine-tuned his multiple-layered recording techniques, turning to pop music rather than jazz for his new sound.  After more than two years of research and development, Dad emerged from his studio with his first solo hit single - "Lover," and 20 more instrumental sides recorded direct-to-disc using his multi-layered techniques.  That landed him a long-term recording contract with Capitol Records.  Dad realized that to bring his new sound to the next stage, he needed to add a vocalist, but not just any vocalist.  She had to be unique and exceptionally gifted, and his choice was not wrong; it was Colleen Summers, aka Mary Ford.  In 1949, Bing Crosby gave Les one of the first reel-to-reel mono magnetic tape recorders.  Before long, Dad figured out a way to modify the machine to record multiple tracks and stopped recording on discs altogether — the portable tape recorders fit his lifestyle perfectly.  Les and Mary created a string of 14 consecutive pop hits, including "Mocking Bird Hill," "Tennessee Waltz," "Bye, Bye, Blues," "Tiger Rag," "The World is Waiting for the Sunrise," "I'm Sitting on Top of the World." and the biggest hit, "Vaya Con Dios." Besides hosting their own TV show and bringing the magic of their recordings to their live audiences with devices like the "Les Pulverizer," Les and Mary performed around the world, including performances for the British royal family and President Eisenhower at the White House, among many others.