Sunday, July 17, 2016

SHG: Patti Page: "Allegheny Moon"

Patti Page: “Allegheny Moon”
Entered the chart on: 6/16/1956
Peaked on: 8/25/1956
Weeks at #2: 2 weeks
Songs at #1: “My Prayer” by the Platters

Except for Freda Lipschitz, Joni James and [shudder] Margie, 1955 had been pretty much a sausagefest. And here we are in 1956, with three female soloists in a row. How do these things happen?

I’ve mentioned the former Clara Ann Fowler already in passing, as the most popular female soloist before rock & roll was on everyone’s mind, alongside the #1 male soloist, Perry Como. Why these two, you might ask? Simple, they both had prominent musical variety TV shows at the time.

If you know Ms. Page at all today, it’s probably for her 1950 smash hit “Tennessee Waltz.” Either that, or the noxious novelty hit “Doggie in the Window.” Hopefully for the former and not the latter. So, let’s check this one out.

OK, thus far we’ve had three female-sung tunes in a row, and they’ve all been quite excellent. Patti was from Oklahoma, so it makes sense that her songs would have a country tinge. It’s definitely country-flavored, nobody would mistake this for Patsy Cline, for example. But her voice is rich! You could practically drown in it!

The “shine, shine, shine” hook grabs you and draws you into the loping waltz-time rhythm, but I think Vic Schoen, who orchestrated this, deserves a lot of credit. Patti gets some solid support from her male chorus, and there’s a haunting harmonica solo in the middle eight.

Like “Ivory Tower,” I liked this a lot more than I expected to! This one’s long on atmosphere, which I didn’t expect. I was all ready to dismiss Patti as a dated relic, but after listening to this, I kind of want to go back in time and kick my past self for being so dismissive.

I’m sighing with delight now. Very pretty song!

Rating: 4

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