Patti Page, 1927-2013, sold more records during the 1950’s than any other female artist. During her time with the Mercury label, 1947-1962, she placed close to 75 titles on the national charts. Her version of “Tennessee Waltz” was one of the signature songs of the pre-rock and roll era. She was a traditional pop singer who branched out into country and jazz.
Her career did not end with her leaving Mercury. While her huge chart success may have waned; she continued to release quality material through the 1960’s. Real Gone Music has now gathered all of her Columbia label singles onto a new two-CD release appropriately titled The Complete Columbia Singles 1962-1970.
Her releases for Columbia were some of the most varied of her career. “Just A Simple Melody” is about as rocking as she ever gets. “That’s What I Tell Them,” “I Knew I Would See Him Again,” and “I’d Rather Be Sorry” are traditional ballads made for her vocal range. She moves in a rhythm and blues direction with “Nobody” and “Maybe He’s Come Back To Me.” Then there is the somewhat odd interpretation of the Jacque Brel composition “Geraldine.”
Her most famous release for the label was “Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte,” which was featured in the film starring Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland. The Oscar nominated song became her last top ten pop hit.
It was her country songs that enabled her to find a new musical home. “I Wish I Had A Mommy Like You” was her first significant country hit.
As with many artists of the day, many times her albums contained a number of cover songs and filler tracks. The singles, however, were usually the best of what was recorded. That is what makes this release rise above the average.
As with most Real Gone releases, the sound has been enhanced as much as modern technology will allow, plus there is a nice booklet that gives a good overview of her time with the label.
She would ultimately return to Mercury and become a country music star during the 1970s and the first half of the 1980s. Her material for Columbia may not be as well-known as that with Mercury but when the 50 songs that comprised her singles are gathered together, it forms a significant achievement.
The Complete Columbia Singles 1962-1970 represent Patti Page well as one of the 20th Centuries pop masters.