Miss Patti Page, who was the best-selling female artist of the 1950s and the star of her own ABC-TV show, died at age 85 on New Year's Day at her home in Encinitas, Calif., according to a Jan. 2, 2013, report from her publicist.
Born Clara Ann Fowler on Nov. 8 1927, in Claremore, Okla., the vocalist who sold more than 100 million records and went by the "Patti Page" moniker was only a few weeks away from receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2013 Grammys from The Recording Academy.
Best known among music fans for her hits such as "Tennessee Waltz," which hit No. 1 on the country, pop and R&B charts simultaneously, and "(How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window," Page achieved many milestones in her career and performed worldwide.
George "The Possum" Jones is among those who publicly remembered the iconic Page, who garnered unprecedented crossover success during her career's peak and, in her own words, "recorded over 1,000 songs on more albums than I can remember."
“I just loved singing with Patti and she hit notes I never dreamed of!" Jones said in a Jan. 2 email shared with Examiner.com. "We cut some songs together and it was a great time. She’ll be missed by lots of folks and everybody needs to know how great she was. Patti was a wonderful singer with a real special voice.”
"I consider myself very lucky to have had Patti Page and Ray Price together on a casino show several years ago. It was such a honor to have them both on the same entertainment stage, and their voices were as good then as they were in their early careers," Martel told Examiner.com on Jan. 2.
"Miss Page has made a mark in the music industry as one of the great voices in all music genres," he added. "She has kept her name as one of the cornerstones of any music. She no doubt helped lay the cornerstone for the history of music by having one of the most recognizable voices with some unforgettable songs."
During the past two years, Page's appearances waned due to unspecified medical issues. In a September 2012 message to her fans on her website, Page wrote the following:
"Over the past year and a half I have not focused on performance or recording but have been more attentive to the doctors, nurses and thoughtful caregivers who have been helping me face several medical challenges. Throughout my life I never really gave much thought to my senior years. I was always able to hop on a plane, go out on stage and make music with the band. At this point I am no longer able to do that. ...
"Although I feel I still have the voice God gave me, physical impairments are preventing me from using that voice as I had for so many years," she continued. "It is only He who knows what the future holds. ..."
Among her many accomplishments, Page -- who was signed to Mercury Records -- received the Academy of Country Music's Pioneer Award in 1980, is a member of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2007, thanks to the still-enduring success of "Tennessee Waltz," which reportedly is the third biggest-selling single of all time, with sales approaching 10 million.
She won her inaugural Grammy more than a half-century after her career first began, in 1999, for "Live at Carnegie Hall — The 50th Anniversary Concert." Her other hits include "With My Eyes Wide Open, I'm Dreaming," "Mockin' Bird Hill," "I Went to Your Wedding," ''Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte" and "Allegheny Moon," to name a sampling. She also partnered with Kennedy Center honoree Jones on "You Never Looked That Good When You Were Mine."
Page was preceded in death by husband Jerry Filiciotto, whom she met in 1973 and wed in 1990. She is survived by her son, Daniel O'Curran, daughter Kathleen Ginn and sister Peggy Layton.
- Multimedia bonus: To see a series of photos featuring Patti Page during her legendary career, please click here.