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Patti Page - All My Love
see end of review for track listing
Patti Page with various accompanists
Recorded 1947-58
RETROSPECTIVE RTR 4235 [79:10]

At least there’s no sign of ‘doggie’ and ‘window’ in the title of this disc. That would have given too wrong an impression of the delightful Patti Page and her decade-long oeuvre contained in this Retrospective single. That notorious December 1952 record was an American million-seller but rather cemented Page’s reputation as a purveyor of cutesy drivel. Yet in the 1950s she was one of the country’s leading, most popular singers. Indeed her record sales outstripped any other singer’s - Doris Day and Sinatra included. Her 1950 The Tennessee Waltz - with its very unexpected and heavily muted trumpet solo from Buck Clayton - remains the biggest selling single by a female singer. She can also claim to be the first artist to have an overdub on tape, which occurred when Confess generated that multiple-voiced Page effect - a kind of harmonised cascade of Pages to which one is drawn like a moth, or for which a certain discreet groaning is required, according to one’s taste.
 
This multi-tracking led to the rise of ‘The Patti Page Quartet’ - four Pages for the price of one - and whilst it seems now to be of dubious artistic merit it must have sounded startling at a time when The Andrews Sisters sound was rather the norm. Page had a real smile in her attractive voice, and one of the smiliest is a self-confident, unashamed I Don't Care If the Sun Don't Shine. And whilst she was no Jazz singer, she does manage to swing creditably on Back in Your Own Back Yard though obviously not with the essence of Billie Holiday’s famous interpretation of the song. Her repertoire included old time fare, theatre and film music from the 1920s and 30s and romantic song - I Love You Because is a perfect example of an up-to-date romance recorded hot-off-the-press. Benny Goodman liked Page enough to employ her, but she is just as home in things like Mockin’ Bird Hill and the Country styled Detour - did her singing of the word ‘knowed’ inspire a certain Robert Zimmermann?
 
Later on she seemed to want to reprise the amazing reception of The Tennessee Waltz and Changing Partners is a rather lame attempt to do just that. Nevertheless with Joe Reisman and his band’s backing it got to Number 3 in the charts. By the time of the kitsch-laden army-themed Left Right out of Your Heart we are deep in Rock and Roll years, which is where the disc should end. But in fact we reprise 1956 and ’57 courtesy of Vic Schoen’s rich and artful orchestra supplying luxury backing on Allegheny Moon and Old Cape Cod.
 
The transfers here are good, with fine frequency response and the notes tell her story lucidly.
 
Page died on New Year’s Day 2013. For as long as she sang she remained a popular singer, in both senses of the word - personable, charming, engaging, and stylish.
 
Jonathan Woolf 

Track Listing
1. All My Love 3:15
2. The Tennessee Waltz 3:02
3. Confess 2:47
4. Whispering 2:25
5. With My Eyes Wide Open I'm Dreaming 3:12
6. I Don't Care If the Sun Don't Shine 2:45
7. Back in Your Own Back Yard 2:28
8. Once in Awhile 2:50
9. I Love You Because 2:33
10. Would I Love You, Love You, Love You? 2:56
11. Ever True, Evermore 2:33
12. Mockin' Bird Hill 3:00
13. Mister and Mississippi 3:12
14. These Things I Offer You 2:20
15. Detour 2:46
16. And so to Sleep Again 2:57
17. Come What May 2:12
18. Retreat, Cries My Heart 2:09
19. You Belong to Me 2:51
20. I Went to Your Wedding 3:18
21. One Sweet Letter 2:24
22. How Much Is That Doggie in the Window? 2:28
23. Why Don't You Believe Me? 2:47
24. Changing Partners 2:59
25. Cross over the Bridge 2:35
26. Let Me Go, Lover! 2:25
27. Left Right out of Your Heart 2:21
28. Allegheny Moon 2:53
29. Old Cape Cod 2:34

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