Getting the Notes Right (Midrange Madness) Letters

Letters in response appeared in Vol.9 No.2, February 1986.

Mary Who?
Editor: In "Getting the Notes Right" (Vol.8 No.7, p.5), JGH got one of his own notes wrong. The vocalist (and real-life spouse of Paul Weston) on The Art of Jonathan and Darlene Edwards was not Mary Ford, but Jo Stafford. The late Mary Ford was married to Les Paul.

God! I finally caught JGH out on something. You made my day!—Arthur Barnes, Des Plaines, IL

For more good days, just watch these pages!JGH

Remarkably Terrible Performances Editor: The thing that made the terrible performances on that record (The Art of Jonathan and Darlene Edwards) so remarkable is that they were deliberately terrible.

It is almost impossible for any musician to deliberately sing or play off-key. I remember, when the album first came out, that I and several other musicians were astonished that it could be done with such consistency throughout the album.—Jack Giberson, San Jose, CA

Truly Difficult Performances
Editor: I remember that album well, and loved it more. But it was only after we had our laughs, and really began to listen, that we came to understand how truly difficult it must have been to make that album.

You have to be an accomplished musician in order to appreciate how hard it is to sing off-key like that. You have to have perfect pitch to pull it off, and there's only one other singer I know of who could have done as well: Ella Fitzgerald.—Bob Bergh, Garland, TX

Two Left Hands?
Editor: It was Jo Stafford, Paul Weston's wife, who "did" Darlene. That's part of what made the whole thing so funny, since Stafford was (perhaps) the most technically secure of the popular singers in the '50s. Les Paul's (then-) wife Mary Ford, though we loved her dearly, wasn't in the same class as Mrs. Weston.

I trust you noticed that on the glamorous cover, with the blonde Roxanne, the candelabra, and the grand piano, the (unseen) pianist has two left hands.

Incidentally, the record sold well enough to prompt a sequel: Jonathan and Darlene Edwards in Paris.Harry Pearson, Sea Cliff, NY

I express my heartfelt appreciation to all you readers who gleefully pointed out my error. You have to admit I was close, though: Mary Ford was married to a Paul; just the wrong Paul.

Would you believe me if I told you that the "error" was intentional, to see how many of you are on your toes? Well, don't it wasn't (though it's just the kind of thing I love to do, so watch out).

Actually, before I wrote the piece, I spoke to someone at CBS records (probably a maintenance engineer), and was told "I think Darlene Edwards was Mary Ford, but don't quote me on that." I won't, I won't.J. Gordon Holt

No recent piece of writing has generated as many letters as JGH's goof on Jonathan and Darlene Edwards; I wouldn't have believed it was so popular.Larry Archibald