It was 1952. Capitol Records was mid-stream in publishing Les and Mary’s Bye-Bye Blues, when Les heard another artist’s version of Vaya Con Dios. He and Mary changed the lyrics, and Les added his signature playing and recording techniques to create what Les believed would be a phenomenal hit.
When Les approached Capitol Records about releasing Vaya Con Dios, the executives told Les it was a sure bomb and he should forget it. It took Les a lot of persuasive talk to convince Capitol to release the record.
When it was released, disc jockeys around the country played the other side of the record, ignoring Vaya Con Dios. In fact, the B-side, Johnny is the Boy for Me, was number one in seven cities, while Vaya Con Dios wasn’t being played. Capitol executives took this as confirmation that they were right; Vaya Con Dios wasn’t going anywhere.
Les didn’t buy that.
He and Mary asked Capitol to help them pay for a chartered plane to fly to the seven cities where Johnny is the Boy for Me was number one. The two convinced the disc jockeys to turn the record over. When that happened, Vaya Con Dios soared to Number One nationwide and stayed there for weeks.
When Les believed something was right, he poured his creativity and energy into the project to make it happen. When obstacles arose, Les found a way to overcome them and achieve his goals.
See the full Les Paul Discography.