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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Music fans began the new year with a goodbye - to Patti Page who died on the holiday at age 85.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TENNESSEE WALTZ")

PATTI PAGE: (Singing) I was dancing with my darling to the Tennessee Waltz when an old friend I happened to see...

INSKEEP: She was a defining voice of post-war America. She sold more than 100 million records, many of them copies of the "Tennessee Waltz."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TENNESSEE WALTZ")

PAGE: (Singing) Yes, I lost my little darling the night they were playing, the beautiful Tennessee Waltz.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Patti Page was born Clara Ann Fowler in Oklahoma in 1927, one of 11 children. She grew up in the years of the Depression and World War Two. And as a teenager, she appeared on a radio show sponsored by the Page Milk Company. The regular Page-singer was out and so she took the name and kept it, and went on to record a series of hits.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DOGGIE IN THE WINDOW")

PAGE: (Singing) How Much is that doggie in the window?

(Singing) The one with the waggily tail. How much...

INSKEEP: The woman who took her name from the Page Milk Company radio show eventually had her own "Patti Page Show" on network TV. In 1999, she finally won a Grammy Award for a live recording at Carnegie Hall, "Practice, Practice, Practice."

GREENE: Her death comes amid plans to award her a Lifetime Achievement Grammy. A singer who worked with her, George Jones, remembers her by saying, she hit notes I never dreamed of.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DOGGIE IN THE WINDOW")

PAGE: (Singing) I do hope that doggies for sale.

INSKEEP: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

GREENE: And I'm David Greene.

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