Saturday, November 9, 2013

Patti Page

Turned in my review of Burt Lancaster's Elmer Gantry (1960) 
I feel pretty green, but I'm loving reviewing movies for "community journalism" online .

There are several strong female roles in Elmer Gantry, though the movie doesn't pass the Bechdel Test (the only time any women talk to each other, it's about Elmer).

The actress who impressed me most was singer Patti Page, in her first film role. My mother used to sing "Tennessee Waltz," which was Page's hugest hit.

Page plays the choir leader Sister Rachel whom Elmer Gantry romances as a way to get to the true object of his desire (evangelist Sister Sharon, played by Jean Simmons). Rachel was earthy and real, Elmer should have gone with her. But Elmer Gantry is not a movie about good choices.

I like photos of artists of all types at work. Here Page is, on the set of Elmer Gantry with Burt Lancaster, who liked to talk.

Below: "Page who, musicians say, never needs to rehearse a number more than twice to get the proper 'sound and feel,' is shown rehearsing for her newest disk. August 1962."
[Mercury Recording File Photo]

Patty Page

The technical details of music and movie making is interesting too. Page was the first singer to release a recording with overdubbing. When there wasn't money for backup singers for her single “Confess,” she learned to dub her own voice. 
She describes this in 1970s interview:

From Wikipedia: The invention of magnetic tape (in 1928)  opened up new possibilities for overdubbing... The first commercially released overdubbed recording was recorded by Patti Page.... It was made by painstakingly recording voice on top of voice with acetate disks.

Here's the song:
Patti Page, "Confess," recorded December 3, 1947

Page wore all sorts of cool outfits, though it's amazing to me that anyone would sing with such a tightly cinched waist.

Page sang pop, but she blended in Country and Jazz too.

One more, for Marz, who likes Western wear with fringes:


yvette said...

what a nice post...sweet memories!

Marz said...

I love knowing about the first overdubbing!

That last picture is interesting. Her outfit looks a little homemade. Or at least not a Nudie creation...I wonder what she was wearing it for.

Hey, did you know she worked with Nat King Cole? Here they are in 1958 (he sings "Quizas Quizas Quizas" --"Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps"!--around 6:20.)

Marz said...

Oops! Forgot the link. Here: