Mary Ford: Five Acts of Legend

In this "Five Acts of Legend," we take a look at the great Mary Ford.
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Ford with husband Les Paul.

Ford with husband Les Paul.

> While she was driving through Oklahoma with Les Paul, their car slid off the road into a creek bed, shattering Paul’s elbow—an injury that almost ended his career. It was 18 months before he could pick up a guitar again.

> Her ability to overdub multiple vocal layers at a time when such studio techniques were unheard of—mostly because Les Paul had to invent them—helped bring massive chart success to the Les Paul and Mary Ford duo, and established the recording studio as a true art form.

> She was probably the most visible female electric guitarist of her time, wielding early Gibson goldtop Les Pauls, a white Les Paul SG, and other models.

> She “won” a guitar duel with Paul on The Colgate Comedy Hour in 1954 that was pretty much hokum, but she showed a few tricks and kept up with Paul on harmony lines.

> She got to play rhythm guitar in live performances alongside Mr. Les Paul. A lot of guitarists would have killed for that opportunity.