LES PAUL & MARY FORD
The Hummingbirds HISTORY
Les Paul was always an innovator – this is the man that sketched up a patent for the harmonica stand while he was still a kid – and his namesake Gibson guitars are legendary.
The husband-and-wife duo of Les Paul and Mary Ford were introduced to each other by Gene Autry in 1946, married in 1949 and began scoring pop hits in 1950, usually built around Les’s unprecedented multitrack recording system. A syndicated TV show, LesPaul&MaryFordAt
Home, ran from ‘54 to ’ 55 and featured charming banter and beautiful music. But Paul and Ford’s relationship wasn’t to last, and they divorced acrimoniously in 1964. GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS
Paul was a total overachiever: the solidbody electric guitar, high-impedance pickups, slapback tape delays, multitrack recording, looping, weird tremolo systems... He did it all. But some of his greatest achievements came in his musical collaborations with Ford, often with the two playing Gibson goldtops.
Although their relationship didn’t last, Ford was clearly Paul’s muse in the happy years but she also pushed him to meet her on her own elevated musical level. WHERE TO START How High The Moon
One of Paul’s more straightforward guitar performances accompanying a beautiful multitracked Ford vocal. BOSS LEVEL Hummingbird
Paul weaves a fluttering array of sped-up and harmonised guitar parts inspired by the song’s namesake bird. And the audio quality of the entire track is beyond stunning – especially for something recorded in 1955.