Lou Christie’s biggest hit, “Lightnin’ Strikes,” was released at the end of 1965, the year Patti Page had her last Top 10 hit with “Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte.”
He was 22. She was 37.
“She was one of my favorite singers,” Christie says of Page, who died last week at 85.
“She wasn’t just another ‘50s singer—though I loved each and every one of them from that era. She was the one I spent most of my summers with along the Allegheny River.”
One of Page’s big hits, of course, was “Allegheny Moon.” It reached No. in 1956.
Christie grew up in suburban Pittsburgh, in Allegheny County.
“`Allegheny Moon’ was one of the songs our family sang all the time,” continues Christie, now a longtime New York resident. “We had a cottage on Route 62 between Oil City and Tionesta, and went to summer camp in the Allegheny Mountains. Mrs. Carson had an old-fashioned gasoline station/one-stop store with a jukebox on Route 62, and we’d walk in for a soda and hang out there. Twenty-five cents for a hamburger!”
“Patti Page was always on” Mrs. Carson’s jukebox whenever Christie put money in it, he recalls.
“A milkshake, a hamburger, and listening to her records on Mrs. Carson's jukebox on Route 62 is a perfect memory of mine,” he says. “Years later, I would do The Mike Douglas Show with her! I met her in Nashville, too, with Pee Wee King, who wrote [Page's classic hit] Tennessee Waltz.”
Christie would bump into Page several times, but regrettably, his life was now all about “rushing into the studio, having hit records and heading off to another city.”
“It all happened so fast,” he says. “I didn’t have the chance to tell her how pretty and talented she was, and what she meant to me growing up and singing harmony along with her records—and how kind she was to me when I was starting out. She was just a lovely person, and wove such a spell for me as she sang.”
And “Allegheny Moon” will remain his favorite Page song, Christie concludes.
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