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Patti Page Dies at 85; Music Legend of 1950s Due Lifetime Grammy Honors

Page, who lived at an Encinitas nursing home, sang "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?"

Funeral services were pending Wednesday for singer Patti Page, a music legend best known for The Tennessee Waltz.

Page died at an Encinitas nursing home Tuesday at age 85, according to NBC7/39 and Seacrest Village Retirement Communities, where she lived. The New York Times quoted Page on her enduring nice-girl image:

In 1988, when she was 60, she told The Times: “I’m sure there are a lot of things I should have done differently. But I don’t think I’ve stepped on anyone along the way. If I have, I didn’t mean to.” 

She had been set to receive a lifetime achievement honor at the Grammy Awards next month—as was longtime Encinitas resident Ravi Shankar, an Indian sitar virtuoso who died Dec. 11, just one day before it was announced he would be recognized at the Grammys in February.

According to U-T San Diego, Michael Glynn, Page’s manager since 1996, said the cause of her death is not yet known.

“It was very sudden,” Glynn was quoted as saying. “I spoke with her a few days ago and she sounded great. Even yesterday, she was in great spirits a had a visit with her son.”

Page, a four-decade resident of Rancho Santa Fe, sold more than 100 million records during her career and won a Grammy Award in 1999. Other hits included How Much Is That Doggie in the Window? and a version of Moon River.

In September, she wrote a letter to her fans on her website, misspattipage.com, in which she said she was battling unspecified “severe medical challenges” that kept her from venturing beyond the North San Diego County area.

“Although I feel I still have the voice God gave me, physical impairments are preventing me from using that voice as I had for so many years,” Page wrote. “It is only He who knows what the future holds.”

Page, whose real name was Clara Ann Fowler, was born in Oklahoma in 1927. She signed with Mercury Records 21 years later after being discovered singing in Tulsa.

According to her biography, her first million-seller was With My Eyes Wide Open I'm Dreaming, recorded in 1950. The Tennessee Waltz was released a year later.

She made numerous guest appearances on television variety programs and headlined several shows of her own.

According to the Internet Movie Database, she was the adoptive mother of two children.

Besides the videos attached to this article, she can be heard singing on a YouTube archive of her greatest hits.

—City News Service contributed to this report.

RATSJ January 04, 2013 at 08:15 AM
She had an amazing voice and will be sorely missed. RIP Patti!
Marilyn Sutherland January 12, 2013 at 02:40 AM
Once in a while god sends us a complete package of talent grace and buety inside and out Patti was that complete package and on top of that she was so humble! Someone said about her god was so in awa of his creation of her he stumbled and broke the mold ! I bleeive that is so we will never see another Patt Page and I being her friend will miss her always ! Marilyn Sutherland
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