Page, Patti (originally, Fowler, Clara Ann)

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Page, Patti (originally, Fowler, Clara Ann)

Page, Patti (originally, Fowler, Clara Ann), American singer; b. Muskogee, Okla., Nov. 8,1927. Page was the most successful recording artist of the first half of the 1950s, and the most successful female recording artist of that entire decade. Her frequently countrytinged ballads and novelty songs were notable for an early double-tracking process that allowed her to harmonize with herself. Among her 79 pop chart entries between 1948 and 1968, her biggest hits were “;The Tennessee Waltz,” “I Went to Your Wedding,” and “The Doggie in the Window.” In the 1970s and 1980s she focused on the country market and placed an additional 16 songs in the country charts.

Page grew up in Tulsa in a large family and first sang in the church choir, later in a trio with two of her sisters. As a teenager she was hired to sing with AI Klauser and His Oklahomans on a local radio station, acquiring her stage name as the singer on the Meet Patti Page show, sponsored by the Page Milk Company. In 1946 saxophonist Jack Rael, road manager for the Jimmy Joy band, which was playing in Tulsa, heard her on the radio and arranged for her to join the group in Chicago in December. She spent only a brief time with Joy, but Rael became her manager and arranged radio appearances and club work for her. In May and early June 1948 she sang with Benny Goodman. Signed to Mercury Records, she charted her first single, “Confess” (music and lyrics by Bennie Benjamin and George David Weiss), in late June.

Page had a series of minor chart entries from 1948 to 1950, finally reaching the Top Ten for the first time in July 1950 with “I Don’t Care If the Sun Don’t Shine” (music and lyrics by Mack David). Her next single, “All My Love (Bolero)” (music by Paul Durand, French lyrics by Henri Contet, English lyrics by Mitchell Parish), did even better, hitting #1 in October. But the recording that inadvertently established her was her revival of the 1948 country song “The Tennessee Waltz” (music and lyrics by Redd Stewart and Pee Wee King), an intended B-side to her 1950 Christmas single “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus” that took off and hit #1 in December, selling a million copies and becoming the biggest hit of the year.

Page had eight chart entries in 1951, five of which made the Top Ten, the most successful of them being the million-seller “Mockin’ Bird Hill” (music and lyrics by Vaughn Horton). Her eight chart entries in 1952 included another five Top Tens, among them the chart-topping “I Went to Your Wedding” (music and lyrics by Jesse Mae Robinson), which was her third millionselling single. That year she broke into television, hosting the twice-a-week, 15-minute series Music Hall during the summer, then becoming a regular on the weekly series Scott Music Hall during the 1952 –53 season. There were seven chart entries in 1953, three of them in the Top Ten, including her third #1 and fourth millionseller, “The Doggie in the Window” (music and lyrics by Bob Merrill), and her fifth million-seller, “Changing Partners” (music by Larry Coleman, lyrics by Joe Darion). There were another six chart entries in 1954, four in the Top Ten and one of them, “Cross Over the Bridge” (music and lyrics by Bennie Benjamin and George David Weiss), her sixth million-seller.

In June and July 1956, Page starred on television in The Patti Page Show, a one-hour musical variety series that served as one of the summer replacement programs for The Perry Corno Show. She returned to television during the 1957 –58 season as the hostess of the music series The Big Record, then during the 1958–59 season as the star of The Patti Page Olds Show, a series that earned her an Emmy nomination for Best Performance by an Actress (Continuing Character) in a Musical or Variety Series. With the rise of rock ’n’ roll in the mid-1950s, she had fewer hits, although she continued to reach the singles charts regularly and returned to the Top Ten with the million-seller “Allegheny Moon” (music and lyrics by Al Hoffman and Dick Manning; 1956), “Old Cape Cod” (music and lyrics by Claire Rothrock, Milt Yakus, and Allan Jeffrey; 1957), and “Left Right Out of Your Heart (Hi Lee Hi Lo Hi Lup Up Up)” (music by Mort Garson, lyrics by Earl Shuman; 1958).

Page tried film acting in the early 1960s, appearing in Elmer Gantry (1960), Dondi (1961), and Boys’ Night Out (1962), but did not continue it. She maintained her career primarily as a club performer in the 1960s. Moving to the Columbia Records label as of 1963, she scored a final Top Ten hit in 1965 with the movie theme “Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte” (music by Frank DeVol, lyrics by Mack David). She had stopped reaching the pop charts by the end of the 1960s, and in 1970 she returned to Mercury Records, where she began to record country music with modest success, reaching the country charts with a series of singles through the mid-1970s and again in the early 1980s on a succession of labels, Epic, Avco, and Plantation.

From the 1980s, she alternated between country music and performances of her pop hits, sometimes appearing with pops orchestras. She won the 1998 Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance for her album Live at Carnegie HallThe 50th Anniversary Concert, issued by DRG Records.

Page was married to and divorced from Charles O’Curran, after which she married Jerry Filiciotto. She had two children.


Folksong Favorites (1951); Patti Sings for Romance (1954); Just Patti (1954); In the Land of Hi-Fi (1956); Christmas with Patti Page (1959); Golden Hits (1960); Go on Home (1962); Patti Page on Stage (1963); Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1965); Sings America’s Favorite Hymns (1966); Gentle on My Mind (1968); Greatest Hits (1987); 16 Most Requested Songs (1989); The Uncol-lected Patti Page with Lou Stein’s Music ’49 (1990); The Patti Page Collection: The Mercury Years, Vol. 1 (1991); The Patti Page Collection: The Mercury Years, Vol 2 (1991); Hits of—Vol. 1 (1992); A Touch of Country (1993); Fallen Angels (1993); Just a Closer Walk with Thee (1995); Greatest Hits—Finest Performances (1995); Greatest SongsLegendary Artist Series (1995); Christmas with Patti Page (1996); Dreaming (1996); Tennessee Waltz (1996); Golden Greats (1996); A Golden Celebration (1997); Tennessee Waltz (1997); Live at Carnegie Hall: The 50th Anniversary Concert (1998); Cocktail Hour: Patti Page (2000).


Once Upon a Dream.

—William Ruhlmann

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Page, Patti (originally, Fowler, Clara Ann)

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