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(How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window? by Lita Roza
Album: Love Songs For Night PeopleReleased: 1953Charted:
After he committed suicide in 1998 at the age of 76, Bob Merrill was rather unkindly branded the worst songwriter of all time by Slate magazine columnist Mark Steyn. One person who might have agreed was Lita Roza, even though this rather silly Merrill composition took her to the #1 spot in the UK singles chart, the first woman to claim that honor, and indeed the first Liverpudlian - way before the Beatles were even thought of.
When Lita Roza died in August 2008, her obituary in the Liverpool Daily Post recorded her thoughts on the doggie in the window, if not on its composer: "It was rubbish, rubbish, rubbish!" After recording it, she never performed it again.
Bad it may be, but the song was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic; the original recording was by Oklahoma-born Patti Page; her version with the Jack Rael Orchestra, and backed by "My Jealous Eyes" was recorded on the Mercury label on December 18, 1952, and topped both the Billboard and the Cash Chart. It was also recorded by Mandy Miller in 1953, and by Baby Jane & Rockabyes in 1963.
The punctuation of the title varies, sometimes the brackets and/or the question mark are omitted; the title on the original 78 pressing is "THE DOGGIE IN THE WINDOW".
According to 1000 UK #1 Hits
by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh, Roza was so unhappy at having to record this that the heads of her record company felt compelled to make amends by sending a new Hoover vacuum cleaner to her house.
Lita Roza (from 1000 UK #1 Hits): "Dick Rowe asked me to sing Doggie In The Window and I said, 'I'm not recording that, it's rubbish.' He said 'It will be a big hit, please do it Lita.' I said that I would sing it once and once only, and I would never sing it again, and I haven't. The only time you'll hear it is on that record."