Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Les Paul
Les Paul was not only one of the all time guitar greats but he invented recording techniques that revolutionized the music business. Most fans should be familiar with Paul's 50s recordings with singer wife Mary Ford. But before that he recorded with a jazz trio in the 40s on Decca. Paul first performed with a trio in 1937 and they were regulars on Fred Waring's radio program. Of course Paul's main guitar influence was Django Reinhardt. Dark Eyes is a traditional Russian folk song that was first recorded by Reinhardt in 1940. Paul picked up on that and recorded the song several times in the 40s. After WWII, Paul became friends with Reinhardt and Paul partially paid for Reinhardt's funeral in 1953. Paul's big break came when he appeared on Bing Crosby's 1945 radio show and they recorded together several times including the #1 hit It's Been A Long Long Time. Paul also toured with The Andrews Sisters and they had a top 5 hit in 1946 with Rumors Are Flying. Also he met Colleen Summers in 1945 and they would marry in 1949 and she became Mary Ford. It was also around this time that he started messing around with multitracking in his home studio and moved from Decca to Capitol. Because his fame was as a duo with Mary Ford, his 40s recordings for Decca are easily forgotten. This budget CD is a good selection of those recordings. Paul recorded Dark Eyes several times for Decca so I'm not sure which recording is on this CD. But the musicians in the video clip appear to be Hal Dean on piano and Bob Meyer on bass. Paul shattered his arm in a 1948 car accident. When he returned, he signed with Capitol and recorded How High The Moon with Mary. But you don't want to forget his jazz recordings from the 40s. Here's Les Paul performing Dark Eyes in the 1947 film Sarge Goes To College. The comedian in the clip is Sammy Wolfe.