Patti Page

Patti Page Artistfacts

  • November 8, 1927 - January 1, 2013
  • Patti Page was the top-selling female singer of the 1950s with more than 100 million records sold. "I was a kid from Oklahoma who never wanted to be a singer, but was told I could sing," she said in a 1999 interview. "And things snowballed."
  • Page was born as Clara Ann Fowler in Claremore, Oklahoma. The family of three boys and eight girls moved a few years later to nearby Tulsa. She began singing professionally after graduating high school in 1945.
  • Clara Fowler got her stage name working at radio station KTUL, which had a 15-minute program sponsored by Page Milk Co. The regular Patti Page singer left and was replaced by Clara, who took the "Patti Page" name with her.
  • Page was discovered in 1946 by saxophone player Jack Rael, who was making a stop in Tulsa when he heard her sing on the radio. Rael asked her to join the band he managed, the Jimmy Joy Band. Rael later became Page's personal manager.
  • The Jimmy Joy Band ultimately settled in Chicago where Page met Benny Goodman. The band leader helped her land her first contract with Mercury Records and she became the label's "girl singer."
  • Page created a distinctive sound for the music industry in 1947 by overdubbing her own voice for the single, "Confess." It changed the recording industry forever, but the innovation came about only because they couldn't afford to employ any background singers. "We would have to pay for all those expenses because Mercury felt that I had not as yet received any national recognition that would merit Mercury paying for it," Page once said.
  • "Tennessee Waltz" Page's signature tune, topped the charts in 1950-1951 and was the last song to sell a million copies of sheet music. It eventually sold more than 10 million copies, behind only "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby at the time.
  • Page achieved 80 Pop chart entries in total. Her final one was "Little Green Apples," which peaked at #96 in 1968. Her last hit on any tally was "My Man Friday" in 1982, which reached #80 on the Hot Country Songs chart.
  • She became the first singer to have television programs on all three major networks. Her Patti Page Show ran on ABC for a year and its star was nominated for an Emmy award in 1959.
  • Page also acted in films, including alongside Burt Lancaster in his Oscar-winning appearance in Elmer Gantry. She recorded the theme song for the movie Boys Night Out, in which Page also had a role, playing Joanne McIllenny.
  • She won a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance in 1998 for Live At Carnegie Hall, - a recording of a 1997 concert held to celebrate her 50th anniversary of being a performer.
  • Patti Page was 85 when she passed away on January 1, 2013. She was survived by her son, Daniel O'Curran, daughter Kathleen Ginn and sister Peggy Layton.

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