I didn’t actually buy any records until 1965, but long before that, the family acknowledged that some of the stuff on the premises would appeal to me, and would occasionally allow me to crank them up myself.
At some point, I came across a Patti Page single with a bad pun for a title, on an old Mercury 78. What caught me, though, was not the title — I didn’t become a purveyor of bad puns until my teens — but a reference on the label: “Vocal by: Patti Page, Patti Page, Patti Page.”
(After typing that, I decided it would be appropriate to find a scan of that label, but I no longer have the 78, though I do have a later blue-label 45 reissue. Turns out I did remember it correctly, apart from punctuation.)
Okay, fine: overdubs. Circa 1960, when I found this record, that was No Big Deal. But in 1951, it was still kind of amazing: Les Paul had only just raised it to an artform, and Patti had been doing this as early as 1947, with a two-vocal-track version of “Confess,” produced by technophile Mitch Miller.
It was much later that I discovered that the reason she looked like a good ol’ country girl from Oklahoma was having been born a good ol’ country girl from Oklahoma, named Clara Ann Fowler. And it showed, even in unearthly environments like Las Vegas:
What used to be Second Street in Claremore, her home town, was renamed Patti Page Boulevard many years ago. They remembered. And so should you, now that she’s gone.