She was The Singin' Rage, Miss Patti Page. And she was all the rage, a million-selling purveyor of wholesome pop hits (How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window? and With My Eyes Wide Open, I'm Dreaming.
Her Tennessee Waltz remains among the best-selling tracks in recorded music. She survived the dawn of rock 'n' roll, ending the '50s as the decade's top-selling female singer.
But Page, who died New Year's Day at 85, was more than a voice. She was a delightful woman whose charming personality led her to become the first singer with a TV series on all three major networks.
She was an early adopter of multi-tracked vocal recording, starting with 1948's Confess. Page recorded the second vocal track when background singers were unavailable because of an impending musicians' strike.
"It wasn't anything I knew was innovative," Page told USA TODAY in 2008. "We just said, 'Why can't we do it?' And we did it."
In 2007, the White Stripes covered Page's flamenco-style hit Conquest. "I love how bold the song is, and simple; it's kind of irresistible," Jack White told USA TODAY at the time.
Page will be honored posthumously with a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy next month. She was looking forward to it. And she certainly deserved it.
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