Patti Page Entertainer of Another Age

Patti Page Entertainer of Another Age

Posted in the Kimberling City Forum

Sharon McKnight

Ozark, MO

#1 Jan 14, 2013
Patti Page Entertainer of Another Age

By Col. Bovine Walker January 14th, 2013

Patti PageYou’ve heard the sayings,
usually by someone older with a functioning memory,
a plaintive statement about the passing of time and people,
ways of doing things, values,
genres and items
that have been thrown into the dustbin of history.

Such as:“They don’t make 'em like that anymore,”
“Things (movies, music, kids, politics, hair styles, chicken soup)
aren’t what they used to be,” or the bleak exclamation point sentence,
“I didn’t know he or she was still alive!”

I find myself being one of those persons, saying things like that.
Do You?

So, here goes again.
Pop & Country Music ain't what it used to be.
And they don’t make John Wayne westerns the way they used to.
In fact, they hardly make them at all.

Patti Page and Harry Carey, Jr. I didn’t realize that they were still alive, until they passed away a week ago.

I mention Page and Carey because they were examplars and professionals in forms of of popular entertainment
which have all but disappeared.

Page, who died at the age of 85 on New Year’s Day,
was a star and a bit of a legend in the field
of what is best described as adult pop vocal music—not quite in the lofty range of,

say, a Frank Sinatra or Doris Day—which dominated the music charts in the late 1940s and right up until the mid-1950s

when Bill Haley rocked around the clock like a John the Baptist of rock-and-roll

until the King himself arrived soon thereafter in his blue suede shoes, loving you tender.

Before rock seriously put a dent into the popularity of crooners like Eddie Fisher and Vic Damone and even songstresses like the hugely popular Doris Day,

Page hit the top or near the top of the charts regularly like a gong, marrying a tad touch of country to songs like “Tennessee Waltz”

(a number-one hit in 1950) and the super-hit novelty song,“How Much is That Doggie in the Window?”—plus a series of haunting and hugely popular ballads.

Although Page's hit-making power faded with the onset of rock-and-roll and the rowdy 1960s, she continued to record and perform, in Branson, Mo., which is ubiquitous with singers wearing the mantle of legend.)

You suspect that there was something mysterious about Page, who never looked like she trained in the Mickey Mouse Club ,

but sprang, full-blown, into the public eye as a woman, not a girl. And a very attractive,sexy woman at that,

reddish curled hair and fashionable 1950s clothing.
She looked a little like the glamorous sister of the Beaver’s mom.

There were singers like that during this early "Mad Men" period. They provided songs for "Your Hit Parade,"

the popular Saturday night show in which two men and two women sang the top hits of the day, generated by the likes of Page, Day, Jo Stafford and Perry Como and others.

“Your Hit Parade” died of cardiac arrest brought on by rock-and-roll—not many of the “Parade” performers were adept at handling a tune like “Jailhouse Rock.”

Only Pat Boone—a crooner-turned-wholesome rocker managed to adapt to the new environment, although he would never threatened the tempo of either Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis or Chuck Berry.

Page soldiered on, turning out records, touring and singing her own brand of country-tinged balladry right into the 21st century until her retirement several years ago. So prodigious—and high quality—was her output that she was due to receive the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. She sold more than 100 million records.

In 1978, a singer named Sharon McKnight wrote and recorded a song called

“Put Another Nickel in the Jukebox and Bring Back Patti Page.”

Jukeboxes, it should be noted, are not much, if at all, being made anymore either.

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