||From the Vault...
Les Paul & Mary Ford
"16 Most Requested Songs"
© Columbia/Legacy Records
Year of Release: 1996
Put A Ring
On My Finger
Big Eyed Gal
At The Sav-A-Penny
All Night Long
The Poor People
I Love You)
It's Been A Long,
A Cottage For Sale
Wrap Your Troubles
(And Dream Your Troubles Away)
East Of The Sun
(And West Of
I Am My Love's
Les Paul & Mary Ford related sites:
Les Paul & Mary Ford
"16 Most Requested Songs"
Back in the early days of rock and roll, there was
a performer who was a great guitarist, like future stringers
as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix. His name
was Les Paul. And, if it wasn't for him, we
wouldn't be worshipping the great guitar playing of such
talents as Clapton and company, because it was Les Paul
who created the electric guitar (Gibson) as a solid-bodied
With his great guitar playing, featuring his wife, Mary Ford's
vocals in his early career, they
recorded songs in the early stages of rock and roll,
but they are really classified in the category of Easy
Listening. Their most popular songs were recorded on
the Capitol label (1955-1958). This week's review, 16 Most Requested
Songs, is a collection from their Columbia label era
(1958-1961), the label they recorded for after leaving Capitol Records.
The first two songs on this album is a single (both sides!)
that I used to have on an old Columbia 45: Put
A Ring On My Finger and Fantasy. Les Paul's
guitar licks in these songs are truly classic. Needless to
say, I was quite thrilled when I found this single on CD,
since it was not included on Les Paul's box set release,
being the fact that the box set were songs from his Capitol
Jealous Heart has somewhat some country feel to it.
(Which most songs in this collection have.) The next
track, Big-Eyed Gal, is an instrumental, showcasing
Les Paul's brilliant guitar playing. At The Sav-A-Penny
Super Store is like listening to one of the early female
singers of the 50s (Doris Day, Rosemary Clooney). The guitar
lick Les Paul provides here sounds more like a synthesizer,
rather than a guitar. It's fast acceleration can be compared
to what Eddie Van Halen does in hard rock guitar playing.
All Night Long has the style of a Connie Francis song.
The Poor People Of Paris is another instrumental.
This song was orginally instrumentalized by Les Baxter,
in which his version reached #1 in 1956. Les Paul puts some pizzazz into his
own version, making it more jazzy than the original by Baxter.
Wonderful Rain is another soft-crooning vocal tune.
Jura (I Swear I Love You), like Sav-A-Penny,
has some fast played guitar licking. It's Been A Long,
Long Time is the standard 1940s remake, and it features
solo guitar playing in the country steel guitar style.
A Cottage For Sale has the style of jazz, like
when Linda Ronstadt recorded big-band/jazz classics with
Nelson Riddle in the Eighties. Another soft-crooner, Wrap
Your Troubles In Dreams (And Dream Your Troubles Away),
is another relaxing, enjoyable song.
East Of The Sun (And West Of The Moon) is another
softy, and it's the third (and last) instrumental on this album.
Goodnight Irene is another remake of the famous
1940s tune, which reached #1 by The Weavers & The Gordon Jenkins
Orchestra. This song mostly focuses on the vocals rather than
Les Paul's guitar playing, as previously heard throughout this
album. The last remaining songs, I Am My Love's, and
Lonely Guitar, like others, are soft-vocaled songs.
This collection by Les Paul & Mary Ford is an excellent
source in Easy Listening music. Not only that, but it
features guitar works by a man who would become an inspiration
to many, many future guitar players, who would develop their
own musical style, just as Les Paul did when he started.
Les Paul had the idea in rebuilding the guitar, and when
it was all said and done, he helped established many
inventions for the guitar that would have their own meaning and character
for each. Of course, each character would blossom in many different
ways: As in Les Paul's fancy guitar licks, to Duane Eddy's
Twang style. From the psychedelic styles of Jimi Hendrix
and Eric Clapton's Cream, to the blues of B.B. King and
Stevie Ray Vaughan. All of these styles were invented by
the instrument that was fully devloped by Les Paul: The
Give a listen to his works with (or without) Mary Ford.
You will hear a new development in guitar style
being born. Even though it's Easy Listening, in some songs
you just can't help but saying that it still sounds like Rock
& Roll. Les Paul & Mary Ford mixes both rock and pre-rock
(big band/jazz) together, and create an enjoyable work of
music that is truly enjoyed by the older generations of music.
And for today's newer generation, if they get tired of the
same old hip-hop, rap and alternative, they can easily look back and see
how rock and roll first started. It would be like
discovering past history in the area of popular music.
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