Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Song of the Day: 'Old Cape Cod' by Patti Page

My friend's partner likes to record renditions of old songs -- and recently he chose "Old Cape Cod." In case you didn't know, Patti Page was the top-charting female vocalist and best-selling female artist of the 1950s, having sold more than 100 million records(!). She had a whopping 110 singles on the Billboard charts, including four No. 1s: "All My Love (Bolero)," "I Went to Your Wedding," "(How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window?" and her signature song, "Tennessee Waltz," which sold 10 million copies and is largely considered the first true crossover hit having spent months on the pop, country and rhythm-and-blues charts. She also had three No. 11s, which I may need to include next time around! Yet other than "Doggie" and "Tennessee" I have to admit that I barely knew a thing about her, which has me wondering: How can someone be that HUGE but then so forgotten, even by an old queen like me? (To my credit, I did acknowledge her death back in 2013.) Times changes, I know. But you still hear Frankie Valli/Four Seasons, Buddy Holly and Everly Brothers songs on the radio and in movies. And fellow goody-goody Doris Day remained a superstar till the day she died. So how did someone as big as Patti Page all but get erased? 

Of note: Patti Page's last Top 10 hit was the theme song to the film “Hush ... Hush, Sweet Charlotte” starring Bette Davis. It was nominated for an Oscar, and Page sang it on the 1965 Academy Awards telecast. (Davis reportedly wanted to sing it on the Academy Awards herself!) Wikipedia notes that originally the film and the song did not share a title, the working title of the film being "What Ever Happened to Cousin Charlotte?" Reportedly, Davis disliked the title feeling it falsely indicated a sequel to "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" She had heard the song with the opening lyric "Hush, hush, sweet Charlotte" that had been written early in the film's development and suggested it serve as the film's title. 


Jack said...

I remember a "greatest hits" Ronco commercial for Patty Page back when I was a child. My siblings and l tittered over how sadly old fashioned she was and our father griping, "We'll see how Elton John fares in 25 years!" Sorry, Pops.

j said...

She had a great voice- maybe she needs a film bio or a musical to bring her back