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Les Paul and Mary Ford


I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Thread Starter
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I researched Les Paul and Mary Ford, after Richard cited them as his biggest influence in his early years. In interviews with Les Paul, he talks fondly of “my Mary”, but what I didn’t realise is that they didn’t grow old together, but divorced in December 1964. She moved on quite quickly, remarried in 1965 and died in 1977 at the very young age of 53. The story isn’t as rosy as I’m sure many people realise but they left some amazing music behind and if it hadn’t been for them, we might never have had Carpenters. Now there’s a thought.



Active Member
Nice post. I have read a little about Les Paul and Mary Ford. Very interesting and amazingly talented people. It is really a treat to be able to watch so many of their appearances and performances on YouTube. Mary had quite a bit of personal problems, a pretty sad story. Les lived almost twice as long as Mary!


New Member
I was going down the rabbit hole of the Les Paul / Mary Ford sound this week and was also a bit surprised to find out they didn't grow old together. A few details were of interest though.

1) Mary Ford's brother was the chief arranger for the Mike Curb Congregation

2) Visit Les Paul and Mary Ford

"My mother, Esther Williams (Mary's sister), used to play the organ in a restaurant called The Village in Downey, California, many years ago, after Les and Mary split. There was one singer that came in to sing with my Mom. His name was Lou Monica. Well, Mary asked him to learn the song "Donkey Serenade." It's not an easy song to sing, however, Mr. Monica agreed and after a couple of weeks, he said he was ready. As he began to sing, the doors of the club opened wide and in came Mary, dressed in black with a black goucho hat, on top of a donkey!!! Mr. Monica never skipped a beat."

I wonder if Mary ever played at The Village with her sister and if K&R ever knew Mary was right down the street from them, perhaps playing. This would be 1965 onwards.
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