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'Doggie in the Window' singer Patti Page dies

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 3rd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Singer Patti Page once crooned "How Much is That Doggie in the Window?" That timeless novelty song was just one of the many accomplishments for the singer, who sold more than 100 million records. Her biggest hit was "Tennessee Waltz," that captivated both pop, country and rhythm and blues charts. Page has died at the age of 85.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Page began life as Clara Ann Fowler in Claremore, Oklahoma, a small town near Tulsa. Originally wanting a career in commercial art, she worked at a radio station when she began performing her own 15-minute radio program.

Discovered by big-band leader Jack Rael, she signed her first recording contract with Mercury Records in 1948. Two years later, she had her first hit record. She became famous for hit single after hit single including: "With My Eyes Wide Open, I'm Dreaming," and "Old Cape Cod."

Her last hit was the Oscar-nominated "Hush . Hush, Sweet Charlotte," recorded for the Bette Davis shocker of the same name. Her "Doggie in the Window" was a classic novelty tune and huge hit, but was denounced by many as a prime example of the innocuous, ridiculous popular music of the 1950s.

Historically, Page is credited as the first artist to use the recording technique known as vocal overdubbing. She performed a duet with herself in the 1948 Top 20 single "Confess."

"That came about through economics actually, because we had to pay for all the studio time, musicians and I had not sold any records or made any money," Page said.  "So, my manager [and] partner got the idea for me to do the echo on 'Confess' and so that's how that came about."

Mercury allowed Page to try full four-part harmony by overdubbing on "With My Eyes Wide Open I'm Dreaming." The label read: "Vocals by Patti Page, Patti Page, Patti Page and Patti Page."

Patti Page made regular appearances on TV variety shows and in 1957 she was chosen to host the rock-oriented musical program, "The Big Record."  The following year, Page appeared in her own CBS television series, "The Patti Page Show." 

Page continued to record and perform into the 21st century, most recently releasing an album of songs for children, a Christmas record and a new "best of" collection.

Page also parlayed her fame into a spot of acting. She co-starred with the Oscar-winning Burt Lancaster in "Elmer Gantry," and also starred on stage in the musical comedy "Annie Get Your Gun."

In 1980, the Academy of Country Music honored Patti Page with the Pioneer Award. She is also a member of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

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