Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thursday This And That

Patti Page Dead at 85
By Associated Press
Country singer Patti Page, best known for her huge 1950 hit "Tennessee Waltz," has died. She was 85. Page died on New Year's Day in Encinitas, Calif., according to her manager.
She created a distinctive sound for the music industry in 1947 by overdubbing her own voice when she didn't have enough money to hire backup singers for the single, "Confess."
She had 24 records in the top 10, including four that reached No. 1. She was also the first singer to have television programs on all three major networks, including "The Patti Page Show" on ABC.
Along with
Ravi Shankar, who died last month, and several others, Page was to receive a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award next month.
-- submitted by Tom Cuddy
I don't know that I'd refer to Patti Page as a "country singer" if I were writing my own obituary of this legendary singer. She certainly appealed to a much larger audience than that! (Once again, one has to wonder if today's "accuracy of reporting" is tainted by somebody who wasn't around at the time or didn't do the research to more clearly paint a picture of this artist ... do we simply draw this conclusion because her best known hit was "Tennessee Waltz" and therefore she MUST be a country artist???)
The truth is, Patti Page hit Billboard's Pop Chart an incredible 80 times between 1948 and 1968, a 20 year period where she also reigned supreme in television and the movies, too. (For the record, during that same timeframe Page hit Billboard's Country Chart exactly four times. However, she did continue to place lower-ranking songs on Billboard's Country Chart throughout the '70's and early '80's after her pop reign, charting there 20 times in all.)
Reading some of the tributes, Patti Page appears to have been one of the pioneers of multi-tracking her voice. Depending on which version of the story you believe, she either couldn't afford to hire background singers for a session ... or they were on strike at the time ... so Page first overdubbed her voice on the track "Confess" ... and then continued to do so throughout her career, once even billing herself as The Patti Page Quartet!
While "Tennessee Waltz" is certainly her most famous #1 Hit ... it topped Billboard's Chart for nine weeks in 1950 and, many years later, became the Official State Song of Tennessee ... the one that rings home for me was her 1953 chart-topper "The Doggie In The Window", #1 for eight weeks that year. In what has to be my earliest childhood memory (as I can't recall ANYTHING else dating back this far), I can remember my Mom singing this song to me when I was a baby. She either must have sang it to me an awful lot ... or for the next several years to come ... because I do have a clear memory of this. In a way, it's so distant as to almost seem subliminal ... yet it's vivid, too, at the same time. This is an especially surprising early memory since I was born right as "The Doggie In The Window" was falling off the chart!
While the music of Patti Page is not really part of what we typically cover during "The Rock Era" in Forgotten Hits, she did place 18 Hits in the National Top 40 between 1955 and 1965. She is best remembered for her pre-rock standards like "All My Love (Bolero)", #2, 1950, "The Tennessee Waltz" (#1 for nine weeks, 1950), "Mockin' Bird Hill" (#3, 1951), "Mister And Mississippi" (#9, 1951), "I Went To Your Wedding" (#1 for five weeks in 1952) and "The Doggie In The Window" (#1 for eight weeks in 1953). Top Ten Rock Era Hits include "Allegheny Moon" (#2, 1956), "Old Cape Cod" (#7, 1957) and "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte" (#8, 1965) ... and while this music sounds incredibly dated today (it does ... other than an "in death tribute", you're not likely to hear any of these songs back in rotation again), Patti was a reigning songstress of this era. (kk)
”The Singing Rage, Miss Patti Page” died Tuesday (January 1) at a nursing home in Encitas, California. She was 85. Born Clara Ann Fowler in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and raised in Tulsa, she took over the role of “Patti Page” on the Page Milk Company radio program on KTUL there in 1946. The next year she signed with Mercury Records, amassing 82 chart hits from 1948 to 1968, including the #1 tunes, “All My Love” (1950), “Tennessee Waltz” (1950), “I Went To Your Wedding” (1952) and “Doggie In The Window” (1953) — the latter a perfect example of producer Mitch Miller’s love of novelty tunes. She was a pioneer in the use of overdubbing vocals and was once billed as the “Patti Page Quartet” on a label. Even into the “rock era,” she continued to chart, with tunes like “Allegheny Moon” (#2 - 1956) and “Old Cape Cod” (#3 - 1957). Patti had her own TV shows for all three networks at various times in the ‘50s and appeared in the movies “Elmer Gantry,” “Dondi” and “Boys’ Night Out.” Her autobiography, “This Is My Song,” was published in 2009.
-- Ron Smith
"The singing rage, Miss Patti Page," passes at age 85.
Wow. What a loss. She missed the 'significant deaths of 2012' by a day. What a tragic way to open the new year, 2013.
While all the news releases have featured her #1 smash, "Tennessee Waltz," Tennessee's official state song (along with that other 'classic,' "Rocky Top"), and "How Much Is That Doggie In the Window (bark, bark)," it failed to mention many of Patti's true classics. At the time of it's reign, "Tennessee Waltz" was second only to "White Christmas" in record sales, with an amazing 10 million.
My first notice of Page's passing was an e-mail alert from the Hollywood e-zine, The Wrap, which left out the majority of her catalog. It does not mention her Top 5 hit, 1957's "Old Cape Cod," nor many of the other singers who 'covered' Page classics over the years -- and there were many -- including Bing Crosby, Jerry Vale, and Anne Murray, among others.
What was also absent are the dozens of other Top 10 and Top 20 songs that proliferated throughout her five decade career, including "I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine," (1949), her first #1, 1950's "All My Love," "Mocking Bird Hill," and "Detour," (1951), among numerous others.
Patti's 1954 version of the classic, "Let Me Go, Lover," was one of the rare instances where she covered the Joan Weber #1. Patti went to #8, while a third cover, by Teresa Brewer, went to #6.
I also read that Patti may have been the first singer to double her own lead vocal, as there was not a budget for background singers, and, at one point, the singers were out on strike, so she sang an additional part on 1947's "Confess." It worked out so well that she continued to do multiple parts on subsequent releases, one of which credited lead vocals to "Patti Page, Patti Page, Patti Page and Patti Page!"
She managed to appear in a number of films, one of her best known parts playing a church soloist alongside Oscar winner Burt Lancaster in 1960's "Elmer Gantry." Among her last 'hit' singles was "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte" in 1965.
My old friend, Bruce Johnston (Bruce and Terry, The Beach Boys), paid tribute to Patti in his masterpiece, ''Disney Girls (1957)'', which has been recorded by Art Garfunkel, The Captain and Tennille, Cass Elliott, Doris Day and The Beach Boys. One of its verses opens with:
"Patti Page and summer days in Old Cape Cod"
A wonderful reminder of just how great the music was in the 40's, 50's, and 60's.
RIP, Patti Page ... you were an original.
Fred Vail / Treasure Isle Recorders
Nashville, TN
From Classic Urban Harmony (, by way of FH Reader Ed Salmon:

When I ran the photo of upcoming Hit Parade Hall Of Fame Nominees for next year, I was mistaken ... this is actually a photo montage of the brand new inductees to The Hit Parade Hall Of Fame. (The official announcement will go out next week ... and the new batch of nominees won't be announced until February ... but in the meantime we are happy to offer our early congratulations to Daryl Hall and John Oates, Sly and the Family Stone, Gordon Lightfoot, Santana, Jan and Dean, Tommy Roe, The Lettermen, Ronnie Milsap, Bill Withers, The Commodores and Ray Stevens, ALL deserving inductees and the newest members of The Hit Parade Hall Of Fame!!!
Here's a clearer shot of this year's inductees:

More information can be found on the official website:
Incredibly, coming up short of votes from last year's list of nominees are Aerosmith, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Jefferson Airplane / Jefferson Starship, The Staple Singers, Steely Dan, The Turtles and Dinah Washington. However, once nominated, the accumulated votes over a three year period can be enough to still propel an artist into The Hit Parade Hall Of Fame. As such, previously nominated artists like Hall and Oates, Sly and the Family Stone, Gordon Lightfoot, Santana, Tommy Roe, The Lettermen, Bill Withers and The Commodores made their way into the hallowed hall this year.
Hi, Kent,
Hope Christmas was great and musical for you and yours, and that 2013 brings health and happiness as well. Wanted to drop you a note to say Jimy Sohns and the Shadows of Knight Allstars — the same lineup you saw on Jimy’s 66th birthday and were so kind as to provide a mini-review for — returns to Blues Bar in Mt. Prospect on Saturday, 1/19. I’d like to extend an invitation to join us once again, and hopefully this time we’ll actually get a chance to talk a bit. Too crazy last time. We’re expecting some guest appearances again, albeit at not as frenzied a pace as Jimy’s 66th. Come out and say hi, and we can do a little catching up.
Thanks, again for all you do for the music we love.
Rick Barr,
New Colony Six / Shadows of Knight
Passing this along to all the "locals" ... that was a fun night of musical entertainment ... and a great place to see a band ... so hoping some of the other readers from this area can join us on the 19th. As you know, The Shadows Of Knight were recently voted America's All-Time Favorite Garage Band ... here's a chance to see why! (kk)
Kent ...
Wishing you a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year from Richie, Arnie and the whole band!
Hope to see you in 2013!!!
Mitch Schecter / The Rip Chords
Right backatcha, guys ... man, it'd be great if The Rip Chords made their way out Chicago-way next year!!! (kk)
Hi Kent,
Regarding your comments about the sad state of radio in Chicago, here's one that killed me. One of the stations recently played "Hold On" by Sam & Dave. While I have no objection to their version of that song, and it was the bigger hit, I called the station and asked why they didn't play the version by the Mauds, since they are a Chicago station, and they said their audience didn't all come from Chicago so they wouldn't know that version! So how are they supposed to get to know that version if no one plays it??? Just wondering ... Happy New Year!
Rock On Chicago
While The Mauds' version was a Top Ten Hit here in Chicago, it failed to chart at all nationally ... let's face it, today most stations don't even play the Top 20 National Hits anymore ... so I get it ... unless that Chicago station was doing some sort of salute to the "local hits" of that era, it probably wouldn't make sense other than as a REAL "Wow Factor" song. But a Chicagoland Radio Station devoted to its community SHOULD play some of the hits that made it here, particularly if that station is WLS, who grew in popularity as a result of some of this local talent. And, let's not forget that WLS could be heard on 40-something radio stations nationwide back then ... so it really didn't matter if the audience "all came from Chicago" or not ... we've received mail for YEARS now about frustrated late-night WLS listeners who couldn't find some of this great music in their local record stores back in the '60's, no matter how hard they tried to buy it. The REAL problem today is that the people in charge today just don't share that history with their audience ... and, as such, they haven't got a clue. You're more likely to hear '60's hits by The Mauds, The New Colony Six, The Ides Of March, The American Breed, The Cryan' Shames and The Buckinghams on The Drive these days because they HAVE developed a devotion to this era of music that put Chicago on the musical map in the first place. Programs like Bob Stroud's Rock And Roll Roots (and his CD Series of the same name) have ALWAYS spotlighted these artists and made this hard-to-find music available to us again in pristine sound. Unfortunately, WLS seems hell-bent on distancing itself from its past ... which is a real shame ... because they have lost boatloads of listeners in the process. (That's why I keep using these pages to appeal to K-Hits ... wanna put yourself on the map here in Chicago ... then pay attention ... you will never be better poised in a better position to do so.) Meanwhile, my button is now permanently set to The Drive (with a handful of CD's "at the ready" the minute one of the songs on the "offensive list" come on!!!)  At least I know they're going to mix things up enough and throw in a few special features and surprises to keep things interesting.  (kk)
Singer Bobby Womack has been diagnosed with early signs of Alzheimer's disease after forgetting song lyrics and the names of collaborators, he told the BBC. It's the latest health complication for the singer, who last year was hospitalized with pneumonia and had surgery for colon cancer.
Womack, 68, opened up about his memory lapses to Giles Peterson on BBC 6 Music. "The doctor said, 'You have signs of Alzheimer's,'" Womack said. "He said it's not bad yet, but it's going to get worse."
After getting his start singing with his brothers in the Valentinos (the Rolling Stones' first Number One hit came on a version of the Womack-penned song "It's All Over Now") and playing guitar for Sam Cooke, Womack launched a solo career in the late Sixties that included hits like "Lookin' for a Love" and "That's the Way I Feel About Cha." Last year he released The Bravest Man in the Universe, his first album of new material since 1994. Blur's Damon Albarn co-produced the LP. Womack told the BBC there was a moment when he blanked on Albarn's name, and said he's had trouble recalling his material.
"How can I not remember songs I wrote?" Womack said. "That's frustrating."
Womack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.
-- Tom Cuddy

Please spread the word on behalf of the Beach Boys' Grammy nomination for Best Historical Album for ‘The Smile Sessions’ box set. The Beach Boys have never won a competitive Grammy Award from The Recording Academy's voting members, and the time has come to make history as part of the band's incredible 50th Anniversary celebration. The Grammy ballots have now been sent to all voting members and must be received by the Academy by Wednesday, January 16, 2013. If you know someone in radio, TV, or the music industry who has a Grammy vote, please encourage them to vote as follows:
Best Historical Album
The Beach Boys - The Smile Sessions
Alan Boyd, Mark Linett, Brian Wilson and Dennis Wolfe: Compilation producers
Mark Linett: Mastering engineer
To listen:

Wouldn't it be great if, after sitting in the vault for some 45 years, "Smile" won a Grammy!!! (It ought to win something for packaging alone!!! What an incredibly impressive set!) Not sure how much we can help here ... but are certainly willing to help spread the word. (kk)