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Patti Page
Birth name Clara Ann Fowler
Born November 8, 1927 (1927-11-08) (age 82)
Origin Claremore, Oklahoma, U.S. [many sources give Muskogee, OK]
Genres Traditional Pop, Country
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1948 – present
Labels Mercury
Columbia
Epic
Avco
Plantation
Website misspattipage.com

Clara Ann Fowler (born November 8, 1927), known by her professional name Patti Page, is an American singer, one of the best-known female artists in traditional pop music. She was the best-selling female artist of the 1950s,[1] and has sold over 100 million records.[2]

Page signed with Mercury Records in 1947, and became their first successful female artist, starting with 1948's "Confess." In 1950, she had her first million-selling single with "With My Eyes Wide Open, I'm Dreaming," and would eventually have 14 additional million-selling singles between 1950 and 1965.

Page's signature song, "Tennessee Waltz," recorded in 1950, was one of the biggest-selling singles of the twentieth century, and is also one of the two official state songs of Tennessee. "Tennessee Waltz" spent 13 weeks atop the Billboard magazine's Best-Sellers List in 1950. Page had three additional #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."

Unlike most pop music singers, Page blended the styles of country music into many of her most popular songs. By doing this, many of Page's singles also made the Billboard Country 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. Other singers who have done this include Eddy Arnold and George Jones, both of whom are traditional country music singers.

When rock & roll music became popular during the second half 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," "Allegheny Moon," "A Poor Man's Roses (Or a Rich Man's Gold)," and "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte."

In 1997, Patti Page was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

Contents

Early life

Page was born Clara Ann Fowler on November 8, 1927, in Claremore, Oklahoma (although some sources give Muskogee, Oklahoma).[1] She was born into a large and poor family.[3] 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 attended Daniel Webster High School in Tulsa, from which she graduated in 1945.[4]

Fowler became a featured singer on a 15-minute radio program on radio station KTUL, Tulsa, Oklahoma at age 18. The program was sponsored by the "Page Milk Company."[5] 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.[6]

Page toured with the "Jimmy Joy Band" throughout the country in the mid-1940s. The band eventually ended up in Chicago, Illinois in 1947. In Chicago, Page sang 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.[1] Page became Mercury Records' "girl singer."[3]

Music career

Pop success: 1948 – 1949

Page recorded her first hit single in 1947 titled "Confess," 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.[7] Mitch Miller, who produced for Mercury Records, was able to overdub Page's voice, due to his well-known use of technology.[8] Thus, Page became the first pop artist to overdub her vocals on a song.[1] 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 magazine, peaking at #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."

In 1950, Page had her first million-selling single with "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 #1 on Billboard magazine, becoming her first #1 hit,[1] 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."

"Tennessee Waltz": 1950

Towards the end of 1950, Page's version of "Tennessee Waltz" became her second #1 hit, and her most-popular and biggest-selling single.[1] "Tennessee Waltz" was originally recorded by country music band Pee Wee King & His Golden West Cowboys in 1947, becoming a minor hit on the country charts for them that year. It also became a minor country hit for country star Cowboy Copas around the same time. Page was presented the song by her record label, but it was recorded in a jazz version by jazz vocalist Erskine Hawkins. Page liked the song and she eventually recorded and released it as a single.[8] The song spent 13 weeks at #1 between 1950 and 1951.[9] "Tennessee Waltz" also became Page's second single to reach the country chart, becoming her biggest hit there, reaching #2. The song would later become one of the best-selling records of the time, selling seven million copies in the early '50s, which prompted various cover versions of the song to appear on the charts during the year.[1] "Tennessee Waltz" has also represented the biggest commercial success for the overdubbing technique to date.[8] 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 (film).[10]

Breakthrough: 1951 – 1965

In 1951, Page 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 #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.[10] 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 #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 Page's other hit 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.[1] She had continued success that year, with four additional songs in the Top 10 with "Come What May," "Once In a While," "Why Don't You Believe Me" (the most popular version was recorded by Joni James), and "You Belong to Me" (the most well-known version was recorded by Jo Stafford the same year).

In 1953, a novelty tune, "(How Much Is That) Doggie In the Window" became Page's fourth #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.[10] The song was written by novelty tune specialist, Bob Merrill. It was originally recorded by Page for a children's album that year.[11] 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 #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.[10] 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 #2, nearly reaching the top spot. Other Top 10 hits by Page that year included, "Steam Heat," and "Let Me Go Lover."[11] In 1955 Page had one charting single with "Croce di Oro," due to the increasing popularity of Rock & Roll music.[10] Unlike most traditional pop music singers at the time, Page was able to maintain her success in the late-50s (although not as successful as the early-50s), having three major hits in 1956, including the #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 Cape Cod."

During the 1950s, Page regularly appeared 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 [12] 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 60s, with the 1960 film, Elmer Gantry.[12] Page also recorded the theme song for the film, Boys Night Out, in which Page also had a role, playing Joanne McIllenny.[13]

In the early 1960s, Page's success began to decrease,[5] 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[12] starring Bette Davis and Olivia De Havilland.[11]

Adult contemporary & country music: 1966 – 1982

Before releasing "Hush... Hush Sweet, 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 60s. 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 60s.

In 1970, Page returned to Mercury Records and shifted her career towards country music. In 1973, she returned to working with her former record producer, Shelby Singleton.[11] Under Mercury, Columbia, and Epic in the 70s, 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 70s, 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 #14 on the Bilboard Country Chart.

Also, in 1973, Page moved back to Columbia Records, recording for Epic Records (a subsidiary). In 1974 and 1975, she released singles for Avco records again,[9] 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 80s, she also performed with major symphony orchestras in Cincinnati, Ohio and Mexico City, Mexico.[14] 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 #80.

Later career: 1983 – present

In 1988, Page appeared in New York City to perform at the Ballroom, making it the first time she performed in New York in nearly twenty years. She received positive reviews from music critics.[11] In the 1990s, Page founded her own record label, C.A.F. Records, which released various albums, including a 2003 children's album.[12] In the early '90s, Page moved west to San Diego, California, and continued to perform live shows at venues across the country.

In 1998, Page recorded her first live 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.[11] 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, and Trisha Yearwood. The album was promoted at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee in 2000.[15] 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 Assistance Program.[16]

In 1998, a sample of Patti Page's recording of "Old 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-out track. The success of this track exposed Page's music to a younger audience.

In 2005, she performed a series of engagements at a theatre in Branson, Missouri, starting on September 12.[17]

Until recently, Page was a host of a weekly 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 covered Page's early '50s 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 "Conquest."[7] In 2007, Page was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.

Now in her 80s, Page continues to tour, performing 50 select concerts a year across the United States and Canada.[18]

Style

During the time of Page's greatest popularity (the late '40s and '50s), most of her traditional pop music counterparts included jazz melodies into their songs. Page also incorporated jazz into some of her songs; however on most of her recordings, Page added a country music arrangement.

During the '50s, Mercury Records was 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.[8] 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 '40s, '50s, and early '60s for this reason.

Many other artists were introduced to Page's style and incorporated the same country arrangement into many of their songs, including The Andrews Sisters and Bing Crosby, who together had a #1 hit on the country charts in the late '40s with "Pistol Packin' Mama."

Personal life

Page has been married twice. She married her first husband, Charles O'Curran, a choreographer, in 1956. Together, Page and O'Curran adopted two children: a son, Danny, and a daughter, Kathleen. They divorced in 1972.

Page married her second husband, Jerry Filiciotto in 1990.[19] Filiciotto died on 18 April 2009. They ran a maple syrup business in New Hampshire and resided in Solana Beach, California.[12][20]

Discography

(For a more complete collection, see List of songs recorded by Patti Page.)

Television appearances

  • What's My Line? 09/22/1957 (Episode # 381) (Season 9, Ep 4) Mystery Guest

Filmography

  • 2004: The Patti Page Video Songbook[21]
  • 2004: Patti Page - Sings the Hits
  • 2005: In Concert Series: Patti Page

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Bush, John. "Patti Page biography". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:0ifexqw5ldhe~T1. Retrieved July 23, 2008.  
  2. ^ "Patti Page still is a 'Singing Rage'". South Coast Today. February 17, 1999. http://archive.southcoasttoday.com/daily/02-99/02-17-99/b01ae041.htm. Retrieved July 23, 2008.  
  3. ^ a b "Patti Page biography". Corporate Artists.com. http://www.corporateartists.com/patti_page.html. Retrieved July 23, 2008.  
  4. ^ "Patti Page". Tulsa World. 1997-09-21. http://www.tulsaworld.com/spot/article.aspx?subjectid=68&articleid=19970920_En_h7patti&archive=yes. Retrieved 2009-03-30.  
  5. ^ a b "Patti Page biography". Country Music Television. http://www.cmt.com/artists/az/page_patti/bio.jhtml.  
  6. ^ "Biography - Patti Page". Verve Music Group.com. http://www.vervemusicgroup.com/artist.aspx?ob=per&src=prd&aid=3003. Retrieved July 23, 2008.  
  7. ^ a b "Jack White, Patti Page share a 'Conquest' and a vision". USA Today. January 1, 2008. http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2008-01-01-page-white_N.htm. Retrieved July 23, 2008.  
  8. ^ a b c d "Contemporary musicians - Patti Page biography". Contemporary Musicians. End Notes.com. http://www.enotes.com/contemporary-musicians/page-patti-biography. Retrieved July 23, 2008.  
  9. ^ a b Patti Page profile Spirus-Temporis.com; retrieved 7-23-08.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Patti Page - The Singing Rage". Earthlink.com. http://home.earthlink.net/~jaymar41/patti.html. Retrieved July 23, 2008.  
  11. ^ a b c d e f Biography - Patti Page oldies.com; retrieved 7-23-08.
  12. ^ a b c d e Patti Page profile NNDB.com; retrieved 7-23-08.
  13. ^ Patti Page appearances IMDB.com; retrieved 7-23-08.
  14. ^ Patti Page Biography Musician Guide.com; retrieved 7-23-08.
  15. ^ In Her First Ryman Concert, Patti Page Debuts New Album, Sings Her Classics Country Music Television News & Updates for Patti Page; retrieved 7-23-08.
  16. ^ Interview with Patti Page Classic Bands.com; retrieved 7-23-08.
  17. ^ Patti Page Accepts Six-Week Branson Residency Country Music Television News & Updates; retrieved 7-23-08.
  18. ^ Miss Patti Page - The Biography retrieved 7-23-08.
  19. ^ Bernard Weinraub,"Patti Page, Proving That Simple Songs Endure", New York Times, August 12, 2003.
  20. ^ "Jerome J. Filiciotto", The Bridge Weekly Sho-case (Woodsville, New Hampshire), April 30, 2009 (retrieved May 6, 2009).
  21. ^ VIEW DVD Listing

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