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Les Paul and Mary Ford
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Les Paul and Mary Ford

Les Paul (b. June 9, 1915, original name Lester Williams Polfus) and Mary Ford (July 7, 1928-September 30, 1977, original name Iris Colleen Summers) were a husband-wife musical duo.

Paul was a guitarist, born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, who created his own electric guitars from acoustic ones, and recorded several solo guitar hits as well as the songs where he backed his wife's singing.

Ford was born in El Monte, California. The name Mary Ford was picked out of a telephone directory by Paul, so she had as short a name as his when they recorded as a duo. She was originally a country music performer, working with Gene Autry and Jimmy Wakely, and became one of the early practitioners of multi-tracking, where she recorded several parts of a multi-part harmony. She, Patti Page (who was probably the first), and Jane Turzy were three singers who used multi-tracking on their hits in the early 1950s.

They were a couple from 1946, and married in 1949. In 1964 they broke up both personally and professionally; Mary Ford went into retirement, while Les Paul continued as a consultant for the Gibson Company, guitar makers.

She died of complications from diabetes in Arcadia, California.

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