Les Paul and Mary Ford How High The Moon

Thanks for the You Tube MusicProf78

This  45 RPM record holds a great memory for me, because I got a 45 RPM record player for my Third Birthday and this was among the first records I got.  I just loved this record,  and because it was Winter in Northern Minnesota with nights as cold as -20 degrees F, I would play this record over and over.  There wasn’t anything else to do, we lived in the Britt Depot on the Duluth, Winnipeg, and Pacific Railway way out in the woods.  The Depot was  across the tracks from  the  siding where they loaded pulpwood for shipment to the East Coast.   My father was the Depot Agent, my mother was a teacher at a rural school in Alango, Minnesota, and my Grandma had come to live with us and look after me.

Later, I learned that this record was historic.  Les Paul had designed his own electric guitar and was the early pioneer in sound-on-sound recording.  While the Germans had invented the magnetic tape recorder during World War II,  American soldiers had captured several machines and shipped them back to Los Angeles to a group of men (including as an investor Bing Crosby) who reverse engineered it and built copies of the tape recorders.  They formed a company named Ampex.

Les Paul, who had played backup guitar for Bing Crosby on his records, was able to get an early Ampex tape recorder and he began experimenting with Sound on Sound recording.  So, when you listen to this record, what sounds like a trio of women singing is just Mary Ford (Colleen Summers) singing each part separately in a different key and Les Paul recording each part on top of the previous parts.  Les Paul completely changed the way phonograph records were made.

About Richard Rollo

I am a retired Community College Instructor. I taught Political Science 1 American Government for 22 years in Southern California. I am originally from Northern Minnesota. My earliest years were spent in the living quarters of a rural Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific Railway Depot. Then my family joined the great 1950's migration to Southern California where I joined up with fellow baby boomers in overcrowded schools.
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