Patti Page represents so much – the past, in the dustiness of her voice and the crackling of her recordings; the present and future, in the lovers young and old who still dance her waltzes and hum her melodies. In her death, we lose a voice from a bygone era, and a piece of that rich past. Yet we gain the ability to enshrine her, to immortalize her in our tributes and songs yet-to-be-recorded in her honor.
I did not know Page’s “Tennessee Waltz” until I had already fallen in love with Eva Cassidy’s. But as my old English teacher and mentor introduced me to hers , the original (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdfDnE59Q7I), he said something along the lines of how the plaintive simplicity of her delivery just carries the song’s sadness and longing to a level that even Eva Cassidy in all her majesty couldn’t quite eclipse.
He was right, and I miss Patti Page today. Rarely do I wish I could have lived in the 1940s and 1950s, but today is one of those days.
Billboard’s Tribute to Patti Page