PASSED AWAY AT 85
consider myself very lucky to have had Patti Page and Ray Price together on a
casino show several years ago. It was such a honor to have them both on
the same entertainment stage, and their voices were as good then as they were
in their early careers. Miss Page has made a mark in the music industry
as one of the great voices in all music genre’s. She has kept her
name as one of the cornerstones of any music. She no doubt helped lay the
cornerstone for the history of music by having one of the most recognizable
voices with some unforgettable songs.
each year passes we continue to lose our legends in all fields of music.
HER SOUL REST IN PEACE.
keep her family in your thoughts and prayers in this saddest time of their
by her professional name Patti
Page, was an American singer, one of the best-known female
artists in traditional pop music. She was the best-selling female artist
of the 1950s, and sold over 100 million records. Her nickname was The Singin’ Rage (a phrase commonly followed by
“Miss Patti Page”).
successful female artist, starting with 1948’s “Confess“. In
1950, she had her first million-selling single “With My Eyes Wide Open, I’m Dreaming“,
and would eventually have 14 additional million-selling singles between 1950
recorded in 1950, was one of the biggest-selling singles of the 20th century,
and is also one of the two official state songs ofTennessee.
“Tennessee Waltz” spent 13 weeks atop the Billboard
magazine‘s Best-Sellers List in
1950. Page had three additional No. 1 hit singles between 1950 and 1953,
with “All My Love (Bolero)“, “I Went to Your Wedding“, and “(How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window“.
of country music into many of her most popular songs.
By doing this, many of Page’s singles also made the BillboardCountry Chart. Towards
the 1970s, Page shifted her career towards country music, and she began
charting on the country charts, up until 1982. Page is one of the few vocalists
who have made the country charts in five separate decades.
of the 1950s, traditional pop music was becoming less popular. Page was one of the
few traditional pop music singers who was able to sustain her success,
continuing to have major hits into the mid-1960s with “Old Cape Cod“,
Moon“, “A Poor Man’s Roses (Or a Rich Man’s Gold)“,
and “Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte“.
8, 1927, in Claremore,
Oklahoma, (although some sources give Muskogee,
Oklahoma). She was
born into a large and poor family. Her
father worked on the MKT railroad, while her mother and older
sisters picked cotton. As she related on
television many years later, the family went without electricity, and
therefore she could not read after dark. She was raised in Hardy, Muskogee and Avant, Oklahoma, before attending Daniel Webster High School in Tulsa, from which she graduated in 1945.
15-minute radio program on radio station KTUL, Tulsa, Oklahoma, at
age 18. The program was sponsored by the “Page Milk Company.” On the air, Fowler was dubbed
“Patti Page,” after the Page Milk Company. In 1946, Jack Rael, a
saxophone player and band manager, came to Tulsa to do a one-night show. Rael
heard Page on the radio and liked her voice. Rael asked her to join the band he
managed, the “Jimmy Joy Band.” Rael would later become Page’s
personal manager, after leaving the band.
Band” throughout the country in the mid-1940s. The band eventually ended
up in Chicago, Illinois, in
1947. In Chicago, Page ate with a small group led by popular orchestra leader, Benny Goodman. This
helped Page gain her first recording contract with Mercury Records the same year. Page became Mercury Records’
1948 – 1949
during a strike meaning background singers were not available to provide
harmony vocals for the song. Instead, Page and the label decided to overdub her vocals on the song, in harmony. Mitch Miller, who
produced for Mercury Records, was able to overdub Page’s voice, due to his
well-known use of technology. Thus,
Page became the first pop artist to overdub her vocals on a song. This idea would later be used on
Page’s biggest hit singles in the 1950s. In 1948, “Confess” became a
Top 15 hit on Billboard
at No. 12 on the “Best-Sellers” chart, becoming her first major
hit on the pop chart. Page followed the single with four more in 1948-1949,
only one of which was a Top 20 hit, “So in Love”
(1949). Page also had a Top 15 hit on the Billboard
magazine country chart in
1949 with “Money, Marbles, and Chalk.”
single “With My Eyes Wide Open, I’m Dreaming,”
another song where she harmonized her vocals. Because she was overdubbing her
vocals, Page’s name would be listed on the Pop charts as a group name.
According to one early-1950s’ chart, Page was titled as “The Patti Page
Quartet,” among others. Towards the middle of 1950, Page’s single, “All My Love (Bolero)” peaked at No. 1 on Billboard magazine, becoming her first No. 1 hit, spending
five weeks there. That same year, she also had her first Top 10 hit with “I Don’t Care If the Sun Don’t Shine,” as well
as the Top 25 single, “Back in Your Own Backyard.”
Waltz” became her second No. 1 hit, and her most-popular
and biggest-selling single. “Tennessee
Waltz” was originally recorded by country music band Pee Wee King & His Golden
West Cowboys in 1947,
becoming a major hit on the country charts for them in 1948. It also became a
major country hit for country star Cowboy Copas around the same time. Page was
introduced to the song by Jerry Wexler, who suggested she cover a recent
R&B version by the Erskine Hawkins orchestra. Page liked the song and she
eventually recorded and released it as a single. The song spent 13 weeks at No. 1
between 1950 and 1951. “Tennessee Waltz” also became Page’s second
single to reach the country chart, becoming her biggest hit there, reaching
No. 2. The song would later become one of the best-selling records of the
time, selling seven million copies in the early 1950s, which prompted various
cover versions of the song to appear on the charts during the year. “Tennessee Waltz” has also
represented the biggest commercial success for the overdubbing technique to
date. Today, the song has come
close to selling fifteen million copies. It also became the last song to sell
one million copies of sheet music, due to the increasing popularity of recorded
music. It was featured in the 1983 film The Right Stuff.
with Frankie Laine, c.
released the follow-up single to “Tennessee Waltz” called “Would I Love You (Love You, Love You),”
which was a Top 5 hit, and also sold a million copies. The next single, “Mockin’
Bird Hill,” (a cover of the version by Les Paul and Mary Ford was another major hit that year) was
her fourth single that sold a million copies. Page had three additional Top 10
hits on Billboard magazine in 1951, starting with “Mister and Mississippi,” which peaked at No. 8,
“And So to Sleep Again“, and “Detour,” which had
previously been recorded and made famous by Foy Willing and Elton Britt. Page’s
version became the most-popular and would become Page’s seventh million-selling
single. She also released her
first studio album in 1951 titled, Folk
Song Favorites, covers
of Page’s favorite folk songs. In 1952, Page had a third No. 1 hit with
“I Went to Your Wedding,” which spent two months at the
top spot. Recorded in a country ballad style, the song was the flip-side of one
of her other Top 10 hits that year, “You Belong to Me.” “I Went to Your Wedding”
became more successful, and the single became Page’s eighth million-selling
single in the United States (ironically, it displaced Jo Stafford‘s version
of “You Belong to Me” at No. 1 on Billboard’s Best Seller chart). She had continued success that year,
with three additional songs in the Top 10 with “Come What May,” “Once In a While,”
and “Why Don’t You Believe Me” (the most popular version was
recorded by Joni James).
fourth No. 1 hit, selling over a million copies, and staying on the
best-sellers chart for five months. The song included a dog barking in the
recording, which helped make the song popular and one of her best-known and
signature songs. The song was
written by novelty tune specialist, Bob Merrill. It was
originally recorded by Page for a children’s album that year. She had a series of Top 20 hits that
year. A final single that year reached the Top 5 titled “Changing Partners,”
which peaked at No. 3 and stayed on the charts for five months. The song
was also recorded in a country melody, like many of Page’s hits at the time. Into 1954, Page had further hits,
including “Cross Over the Bridge,” which also over-dubbed Page’s
vocals and became a major hit, peaking at No. 2, nearly reaching the top
spot. Other Top 10 hits by Page that year included, “Steam Heat” (from
the Broadway musical The Pajama Game)
Me Go Lover” (the best known version of the latter recorded by Joan Weber). In 1955 Page had one charting single
with “Croce di Oro,” due to the increasing popularity of Rock & Roll music. Unlike most traditional pop music
singers at the time, Page was able to maintain her success in the late-1950s
(although not as successful as the early-1950s), having three major hits in
1956, including the No. 2 hit “Allegheny Moon.”
In 1957 she had other major hits with “A Poor Man’s Roses (Or a Rich Man’s Gold)”
(recorded the same year by Patsy Cline) and the
Top 5 hit, “Old
Page producing a long string of hits that included Mama
from the Train,Allegheny
Moon, Old Cape Cod, Belonging To Someone, and Left Right Out of Your Heart. Page and Schoen’s most
challenging project was a new recording of Gordon Jenkins narrative tone poem Manhattan Tower (recorded September 1956). The album
was a tremendous success, both artistically and commercially, reaching
No. 18 on the Billboard LP chart, the highest ranking of any album she
ever made. Vic Schoen’s arrangements were far more lively and jazzy than
the original Jenkins arrangements. Schoen recalled,
“Patti was an alto, but I pushed her to reach notes higher than she had
sung before for this album. We always enjoyed working together.” Page and
Schoen kept in touch and worked together all the way up until 1999.
on a series of network television shows and programs, including The Dean Martin Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, and The Steve Allen Show. This
eventually led to Page acquiring some television specials of her own during the
1950s. Page would later have her own series, beginning with Scott Music Hall on NBC in
the 1952-53 season, and a syndicated series for Oldsmobile in 1955 titled The Patti Page Show. However,
the show only lasted one season, as did The
Big Record on CBS(1957–58) and ABC‘s The
Patti Page Olds Show (1958–59).
Page also acted in fims during this time, given a role on the CBS show,
Playhouse 90. Page made her film debut in the 1960s,
with the 1960 film, Elmer Gantry. Page also recorded the theme song for
the film, Boys Night Out, in which Page also had a role, playing
decrease, having no major hits up
until 1961’s “You’ll Answer to Me” and “Mom and Dad’s
Waltz.” Page had her last major hit on the Billboard Pop Chart in 1965 with “Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte,” from the
film of the same name starring Bette Davis and Olivia
De Havilland, which peaked at No. 8, becoming her last top 10
hit (and her first since 1957).
contemporary and country music: 1966 – 1982
Charlotte,” Page signed with Columbia Records,
where she stayed towards the end of the decade. She released a few studio
albums for the Columbia label in the 1960s. Up until 1970, her singles began to
chart on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart. Many of these singles became
major hits, peaking in the Top 20, including cover versions of “You Can’t Be True, Dear,” “Gentle On My Mind” and “Little
Green Apples” (the latter being her last pop chart entry).
Page, who is a fan of country music, has recorded cover versions of many country
songs throughout the years. Some of these songs were recorded under Columbia
and were released as Adult Contemporary singles, including David Houston’s “Almost Persuaded”
and Tammy Wynette‘s “Stand by Your Man.”
Page left Columbia at the end of the 1960s.
and shifted her career towards country music. In 1973, she returned to working
with her former record producer, Shelby Singleton. Under Mercury, Columbia, and Epic in
the 1970s, Page recorded a series of country singles, beginning with 1970’s
“I Wish I Had a Mommy Like You,” which became a Top 25 hit, followed
by “Give Him Love,” with similar success. In 1971, she released a
country music studio album, I’d
Rather Be Sorry, for Mercury
records. In the early 1970s, she had additional charted hits; her most
successful was in 1973, a duet with country singer Tom T. Hall titled, “Hello, We’re
Lonely” which was a Top 20 hit, reaching No. 14 on the Bilboard Country Chart.
Records, recording for Epic Records (a subsidiary). In 1974 and 1975, she
released singles for Avco records again, with country singles “I May Not
Be Lovin’ You” and “Less Than the Song,” both of which were
minor country hits. After a five-year hiatus, she recorded for Plantation
Records in 1980. In
the early 1980s, she also performed with major symphony orchestras in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Mexico City, Mexico.
She had a Top 40 hit with the Plantation label in 1981 titled “No
Aces,” followed by a series of minor country hits, including her
last-charting single, “My Man Friday,” which reached No. 80.
1983 – 2013
reunited for a stage show in Las Vegas.
the first time she performed in New York in nearly twenty years. She received
positive reviews from music critics. In
the 1990s, Page founded her own record label, C.A.F. Records, which released
various albums, including a 2003 children’s album. In the early 1990s, Page
moved west to San Diego, California, and continued to perform live shows at
venues across the country.
album. It was performed at Carnegie Hall in New York and titled, Live at Carnegie Hall: The 50th
Anniversary Concert. The album won Page a Grammy Award the following year for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance which, despite her prolific career,
was her first Grammy. In 2000,
she released a new album, Brand
New Tennessee Waltz, which
consisted of new music. Harmony vocals were provided by popular country stars,
including Suzy Bogguss, Alison Krauss, Kathy Mattea, andTrisha Yearwood. The
album was promoted at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee in
2000. On October 4, 2001, Bob
Baines, the mayor of Manchester, New Hampshire declared
the day “Patti Page Day” in the town. Miss Page was in Manchester to
perform a sold-out concert at the Palace Theatre to benefit Merrimack Valley
Cape Cod” formed the basis of Groove Armada‘s 1998
UK hit “At the
River“. The lines “If you’re fond of sand dunes and salty
air, / Quaint little villages here and there…” sung in Page’s
multi-tracked close-harmony, are repeated over and over, with the addition of synthesizer bass, slowed-down drums and a bluesy trombone solo to produce a chill-outtrack. The
success of this track exposed Page’s music to a younger audience.
record a CD for a Chinese label.
engagements at a theatre in Branson, Missouri,
starting on September 12.
Sunday program on the “Music
of Your Life“ radio network. She and Jack White of The White Stripes were interviewed in January 2008,
after the White Stripes recorded Page’s early 1950s hit, “Conquest” on
their 2007 studio album, Icky Thump. Page and White were put together on
the phone during the interview, talking to each other about their views on
to tour, performing 50 select concerts a year across the United States and Canada.
popularity (the late 1940s and 1950s), most of her traditional pop music
counterparts included jazzmelodies into
their songs. Page also incorporated jazz into some of her songs; however on
most of her recordings, Page added acountry music arrangement.
controlled by Mitch Miller, who
produced most of Page’s music. Miller found that the simple-structured melodies
and storylines in country music songs could be adapted to the pop music market.
Page, who was born in Oklahoma, felt comfortable using this idea. Many of Page’s most successful hits
featured a country music arrangement, including her signature song,
“Tennessee Waltz,” as well as “I Went to Your Wedding” and
“Changing Partners.” Some of these singles charted on the Billboard Country
Chart during the 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s for this reason.
Page’s style and incorporated the same country arrangement into many of their
Andrews Sisters and Bing Crosby, who
together had a No. 1 hit on the country charts in the late 1940s with
“Pistol Packin’ Mama.”
former major league baseball star and front-office executive Eddie Robinson discloses that he dated Page during the period
before her first marriage.
married University of Wisconsin student Jack Skiba in May 1948 and moved with
him to New York, but asked for and received a no-fault divorce in Wisconsin
within a year. Her second husband was Charles O’Curran, a choreographer, whom
she married in 1956. O’Curran had been previously married to Betty Hutton.
Together, Page and O’Curran adopted two children: a son, Danny, and a daughter,
Kathleen. They divorced in 1972.
Filiciotto, in 1990. Filiciotto
died on April 18, 2009. They ran a maple syrup business in New Hampshire and resided in Solana Beach, California
One of legendary Hollywood arranger Vic Schoen’s favorite singers
for whom he arranged songs was Patti Page. Schoen once recalled, “She was
one of the nicest and most accommodating singers I’ve ever worked with.”
She and Schoen remained close friends and spoke regularly until his death in 2000.