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Mary Ford

From Academic Kids

Mary Ford (July 7, 1928-September 30, 1977, original name Iris Colleen Summers) was half of a husband-wife musical duo; the other half being Les Paul.

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.

She was a couple with Paul 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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