Patti Page, the “Singing Rage” who became one of the most successful female singers of all time with dozens of pop hits, such as the forlorn “Tennessee Waltz” and the yappy but irresistibly likable “(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window,” died Jan. 1 in Encinitas, Calif. She was 85.
With a husky, often alluring voice, Ms. Page was a superstar of the post-World War II era. It was a time when American celebrities still resembled girls and boys next door and when chart-toppers were manufactured to appeal to listeners of all ages.
Her music was critically derided as bland and utterly unadventurous even at the time, but 100 million record buyers disagreed.
She sold 10 million copies of the country-infused “Tennessee Waltz” alone. That song, recorded by Mercury Records at the start of the 1950s, was expected to be a throwaway number and was relegated to the B-side of “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus.”
Clara Ann Fowler was born Nov. 8, 1927, in Claremore, Okla., and grew up in Tulsa. She was one of 11 children and was raised during the Great Depression by a father who worked for the railroad.
Patti Page is one of America’s true musical icons. In the course of her seven-decade recording career, she had become a living legend by selling more than 100 million records, making her one of the biggest selling female recording artists in history.
Patti Page sings ‘Old Cape Cod’
(Video by MandT)