Mary Ford

Mary Ford
Les Paul and Mary Ford 1953.jpg
Mary Ford and Les Paul in 1953
Background information
Birth nameIris Colleen Summers
Born(1924-07-07)July 7, 1924
El Monte, California, United States
DiedSeptember 30, 1977(1977-09-30) (aged 53)
Arcadia, California, U.S.
GenresGospel, Western, country, jazz, pop
Occupation(s)Singer, musician
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1939–1966
Labels
Associated acts

Mary Ford (born Iris Colleen Summers; July 7, 1924 – September 30, 1977) was an American vocalist and guitarist, comprising half of the husband-and-wife musical team Les Paul and Mary Ford. Between 1950 and 1954, the couple had 16 top-ten hits, including "How High the Moon" and "Vaya con Dios", which were number one hits on the Billboard charts. In 1951 alone they sold six million records. With Paul, Ford became one of the early practitioners of multi-tracking.

Early life

Mary Ford was born Iris Colleen Summers in El Monte, California, the second daughter of Marshall McKinley Summers (born February 13, 1896, in Ridgway, Illinois; died August 5, 1981, in Los Angeles),[1][2][3] a Nazarene minister, who later became a painting contractor,[4] and his wife, Dorothy May White Summers (born April 5, 1897, in Missouri; died February 22, 1988, in South El Monte, California), and was the sister of Byron Fletcher Summers, Esther E. Williams, Carol Jean Corona, Bruce Summers, Eva Wootten and Bob Summers. Ford came from a musical family. Her parents left Missouri, travelling cross-country while singing gospel music and preaching at revival meetings across the United States. They eventually settled in southern California, where they were heard over KPPC-AM, Pasadena's first Christian radio station. Her sisters and brothers were all musicians; Esther, Carol, Fletcher, jazz organist Bruce and film composer Bob Summers.

While still a junior high school student, Summers and Mildred L. "Milly" Watson (later Millie Pace) (born February 26, 1922, in Los Angeles; died August 2, 1976, in Orange County, California),[5][6] a local girl, performed together in churches in Pasadena, California, and later made gospel recordings with Milly's older brother, Marvin, for which she wrote some songs. In 1939 Summers and Milly won a Pasadena talent contest judged by "several Hollywood notables, including a very young Judy Garland."[7] Hoping to have a musical career, Summers and Milly Watson lost interest in school, played truant frequently and eventually quit school, only to find employment as a cinema attendant.[7]

Other Languages
تۆرکجه: مری فورد
brezhoneg: Mary Ford
Cymraeg: Mary Ford
Deutsch: Mary Ford
español: Mary Ford
فارسی: مری فورد
français: Mary Ford
italiano: Mary Ford
Nederlands: Mary Ford
polski: Mary Ford
português: Mary Ford
русский: Мэри Форд
svenska: Mary Ford
українська: Мері Форд