How High The Moon

Les Paul
FORMAT: Audio CD - 3 Disc
Release date: 9 Nov 2009


Hits and rarities from the wizard of Waukesa - 4/5 RECORD COLLECTOR

CAT No: FVTD035UPC TEXT: 5055311000350

Full details

Born Lester Polsfuss (1915-2009) in Waukesha, WI, guitarist Les Paul enjoyed a long and successful career in Pop and Jazz, and is remembered for his Top 5 hits with singer Mary Ford in the 1950s including ‘Mockin’ Bird Hill’ (US #3), ‘How High The Moon’ (US #1), ‘The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise’ (US #3) and ‘Vaya Con Dios’ (US #1, UK #7).

However, Paul’s most enduring legacy was the creation of the solid-body electric guitar and his pioneering work in developing modern recording techniques such as multi-tracking, overdubbing and electronic echo. A multi-instrumentalist by his early teens with a keen interest in electronics, Paul was playing with Midwestern C&W bands at age thirteen. Migrating to Chicago in the 1930s he became a regular on WLS and later bandleader at WJJD in 1934, subsequently enjoying stardom as Hillbilly artist Red Hot Red and later Rhubarb Red. Along with Jimmy Atkins (Chet’s brother) and Ernie Newton he formed the Les Paul Trio, relocating to New York in 1937 where the group spent five years with bandleader Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians orchestra. Paul set about revolutionising the guitar, and built his first prototype electric model (aka the “Log”) in 1941.

His musical leanings now veered towards Jazz and he jammed with greats such as Louis Armstrong and Art Tatum. After stints running radio stations in Chicago, he was drafted in 1942, and worked for the Armed Forces Radio Service playing behind Rudee Vallee and Johnny Mercer. Upon his discharge in 1943, he became a staff musician at NBC radio in LA, and with his trio backed Bing Crosby and toured with the Andrews Sisters. In 1945 he built his first recording studio in his garage and started to experiment with now-commonplace techniques such as close-miking and echo delay.

In July 1944 Paul performed with Nat King Cole at the first of Norman Leinz’s Jazz At The Philharmonic Auditorium (JATP) concerts and the two created a sensation. He recorded with Helen Forrest and the Delta Rhythm Boys. Towards the decade’s close he met and married singer Mary Ford and the two enjoyed a string of hit records on Capitol – among the very first to feature multi-tracking, with Ford’s vocal “answering” Paul’s guitar. During this time Paul also enjoyed several Top 10 instrumental hits including ‘Nola’ (US #9), ‘Meet Mr Callaghan’ (US #5) and ‘Tiger Rag’ (US #6), all of which feature here. Showcasing his fretboard wizardry and groundbreaking studio work, this is an exciting collection spanning 20 years of recordings and includes the 1950s hits, lesser-heard rarities, early material and live performances.



  1. Lover (Les Paul)
  2. Caravan [multi-tracked version] (Les Paul)
  3. Hip-Billy Boogie (Les Paul)
  4. The Swiss Woodpecker (Les Paul)
  5. Brazil (Les Paul)
  6. What Is This Thing Called Love? (Les Paul)
  7. Nola (Les Paul)
  8. Goofus (Les Paul)
  9. Little Rock Getaway (Les Paul)
  10. Tennessee Waltz (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  11. Mockin' Bird Hill (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  12. How High The Moon (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  13. I Wish I Had Never Seen Sunshine (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  14. The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  15. Just One More Chance (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  16. Jazz Me Blues (Les Paul)
  17. Josephine (Les Paul)
  18. Whispering (Les Paul)
  19. Jingle Bells (Les Paul)
  20. Tiger Rag (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  21. I’m Confessin’ (That I Love You) (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  22. The Carioca (Les Paul)
  23. In The Good Old Summertime (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  24. Smoke Rings (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  25. Meet Mister Callaghan (Les Paul)
  26. Take Me In Your Arms And Hold Me (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  27. Lady Of Spain (Les Paul)


  1. Bye Bye Blues (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  2. Deep In The Blues (Les Paul)
  3. Mammy’s Boogie (Les Paul)
  4. My Baby’s Coming Home (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  5. I’m Sitting On Top Of The World (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  6. Sleep (Fred Waring’s theme song) (Les Paul)
  7. Vaya Con Dios (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  8. Johnny (Is The Boy For Me) (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  9. Don’cha Hear Them Bells (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  10. The Kangaroo (Les Paul)
  11. I Really Don’t Want To Know (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  12. I’m A Fool To Care (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  13. Whither Thou Goest (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  14. Mandolino (Les Paul)
  15. Song In Blue (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  16. Mr Sandman (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  17. That’s What I Like (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  18. Hummingbird (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  19. Amukiriki (The Lord Willing) (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  20. Magic Melody (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  21. Texas Lady (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  22. Moritat (Theme from Three Penny Opera) (Les Paul)
  23. Nuevo Laredo (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  24. Cinco Robles (Five Oaks) (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  25. Put A Ring On My Finger (Les Paul & Mary Ford)


  1. Just Because (Les Paul (as Rhubarb Red))
  2. Deep Elem Blues (Les Paul (as Rhubarb Red))
  3. Out Of Nowhere (Les Paul & Jim Atkins)
  4. Begin The Beguine (Les Paul Trio)
  5. Dream Dust (Les Paul Trio)
  6. Dark Eyes (Les Paul Trio)
  7. Blue Skies (Les Paul Trio)
  8. Baby, What You Do For Me (Helen Forrest with Les Paul Trio)
  9. It's Been A Long, Long Time (Bing Crosby with Les Paul Trio)
  10. Rumors Are Flying (The Andrews Sisters with Les Paul)
  11. What Would It Take? (The Delta Rhythm Boys with Les Paul Trio)
  12. Steel Guitar Rag (Les Paul Trio)
  13. Guitar Boogie (Les Paul Trio)
  14. Caravan [earlier Decca version] (Les Paul Trio)
  15. Subterfuge (Les Paul Trio)
  16. Melodic Meal (Les Paul Trio)
  17. Hand Picked (Les Paul Trio)
  18. At Sundown (Les Paul Trio)
  19. Coquette (Les Paul Trio)
  20. I Found A New Baby (Les Paul Trio)
  21. Danger, Men At Work (Les Paul Trio)
  22. Short Circuit (Les Paul Trio)
  23. Body And Soul (Les Paul with Nat King Cole)
  24. Rosetta (Les Paul with Nat King Cole)