Home |  PublicationsEncyclopedia |  Page, Patti

The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture

Patti Page
(2012.201.B1009.0064, Oklahoma Publishing Company Photography Collection, OHS).

PAGE, PATTI (1927–2013).

Born Clara Ann Fowler on November 8, 1927, in Claremore, Oklahoma, as one of eleven children of a railroad foreman and a mother who picked cotton to help support the family, Patti Page started singing professionally in her teens at Tulsa radio station KTUL. After the primary singer got laryngitis, Patti stepped in and won the job. She also decided to take her stage name after one of the program's sponsors, the Page Milk Company.

By 1948 she released her first hit, "Confess," also notable as the first song to use overdubbing on a vocal, which Page did herself to make the song sound like a vocal group. The song is a benchmark for studio technology, and she followed it in 1949 by releasing "With My Eyes Wide Open I'm Dreaming," which garnered her the first of eighteen gold records. In 1950 she recorded "Tennessee Waltz," the largest-selling single in country music history, which signaled the upcoming pop crossover strategy of the Nashville Sound, still an industry practice. Other hits followed, including "The Doggie in the Window" (1953) and "Old Cape Cod" (1957).

She also appeared in several motion pictures, including Elmer Gantry (1960) and Boys' Night Out (1962, with fellow Oklahomans James Garner and Tony Randall). Page released more than one hundred albums and has more than one hundred million record sales to date, making her the all-time best-selling female vocalist in American popular music history. She died on January 1, 2013.

Hugh W. Foley, Jr.


Colin Larkin, ed., The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Vol. 4 (New York: Stockton Press, 1995).

Norm N. Nite, Rock On: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll, Vol. 1 (New York: Harper and Row, 1982).

Larry O'Dell, comp., Oklahoma @ the Movies (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Historical Society, 2012).


The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Hugh W. Foley, Jr., “Page, Patti,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=PA006.

Copyright and Terms of Use

No part of this site may be construed as in the public domain.

Copyright to all articles and other content in the online and print versions of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History is held by the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS). This includes individual articles (copyright to OHS by author assignment) and corporately (as a complete body of work), including web design, graphics, searching functions, and listing/browsing methods. Copyright to all of these materials is protected under United States and International law.

Users agree not to download, copy, modify, sell, lease, rent, reprint, or otherwise distribute these materials, or to link to these materials on another web site, without authorization of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Individual users must determine if their use of the Materials falls under United States copyright law's "Fair Use" guidelines and does not infringe on the proprietary rights of the Oklahoma Historical Society as the legal copyright holder of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and part or in whole.