Pay Tribute to Les Paul and Mary Ford
A Feature Article by Rich and Laura Lynch

The music of Les Paul and Mary Ford lives on through the artistry of guitarist Tom Doyle and vocalist Sandy Cory. Their live presentation which runs from one to two hours is filled with songs and stories about Les Paul and Mary Ford who were innovators and hit makers in the 1950's. In addition, Mr. Paul was one of the pioneers behind the solid-body electric guitar and a range of recording techniques including multi-miking and tracking. It was his inventions that paved the way for the sounds of rock and roll.

Tom and Sandy Doyle Pay Tribute to Les Paul and Mary Ford

There are a select group of people who can state that they knew the legendary Les Paul intimately but Tom Doyle is one of them. Tom is a respected guitar player and luthier in his own right. Tom worked with Les for 45 years and it was Doyle who restored the guitars that Les took apart in search of new nuances.

Tom was a co-inventor with Les. Doyle has constructed, customized, modified and repaired guitars for George Benson, Sting, Bucky Pizzarelli, Al Caiola, Al Dimeola, Tony Mottola, Jimmy Page, Les Paul and many more. Tom is still a luthier and he conducts workshops on guitar building and playing.

Tom's wife Sandy who sings also plays congas, flute and guitar. Together they play and share the muse and music of Les Paul and Mary Ford. caught up with the duo in Pompton Plains, New Jersey on February 12th, 2013.

Tom started the show with a story about his first encounters with Les and how they came to work together. Doyle described Paul's house as a lab for music and said that Les treated Tom like a son. This was a good lead in to "Sentimental Journey" with Tom incorporating the textures of trains into the piece. It was followed by a shimmering version of "Moonglow."

Doyle encouraged the audience to ask questions and one person wanted to know why did Mary and Les split up. Tom said that the two traveled everywhere performing for kings and queens and Paul could not say no to a show. Mary on the other hand, had grown tired of life on the road and wanted to spend more time at home raising their family. Thus, they decided to go their separate ways.

Highlights of the set were the Spanish flavored "Vaya con Dios" and the colorful "Caravan". Doyle mentioned that Les and Mary often made music in hotel rooms. Tom and Sandy dissected "The World is Waiting for the Sunrise " showing how the parts came together. They started with playful picking at the intro before moving into the hook lines that Tom explained were recorded in a shower stall for the echo effects.

The Doyle duo also demonstrated how dynamic "How High the Moon" was with its 28 parts. Tom reminded us that back then Les and Mary had to play the track through as you could not just fix a part of the tape. Tom and Sandy's interpretation was magical and ended the concert on a high note. thoroughly enjoyed this educational and entertaining evening of memories and music. Both Tom and Sandy were available after the show to chat and to expand upon some of the musical items and photos that they had in and around the stage in tribute to the legendary Les.

Related Links: For more information on TOM & SANDY DOYLE and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Tom Doyle Guitars | Les Paul Foundation

(Originally Published on February 15, 2013)




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