Patti Page

Sings You Go to My Head & Songs from Manhattan Tower

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In the early '50s, while her singles smashes like "The Tennessee Waltz" and "(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window" were breaking sales records, Patti Page was also recording many LPs, then a firm fixture of the adult market. The Sepia collection Sings You Go to My Head & Songs from Manhattan Tower combines two of these, the first from 1953 and the second from 1956. These were conceptual albums along the lines of Frank Sinatra's In the Wee Small Hours or Mel Tormé's California Suite, and those two albums (respectively) are the ones to look at when thinking about what Page and Columbia were trying to accomplish. On the first, Page sings a set of gauzy torch songs, including "What's New," "Deep in a Dream," and "I Didn't Know What Time It Was." Her talents were well-suited to this type of song, and the results aren't too far off from contemporary efforts from Sarah Vaughan or June Christy (if not Sinatra or Ella Fitzgerald). The second LP features the Muskogee native extolling the virtues of New York, a booster effort common in the '50s. The compositions, by master arranger and orchestrator Gordon Jenkins, are very good, but Page suffers with material that doesn't hit a prime place in the heart. (A few artists, ranging from Ray Charles to Dick Haymes, have also recorded songs from this suite.)

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