OKLAHOMA CITY – At the Oklahoma History Museum, they know Patti Page well.
Ask around and you’ll find many fans among the historians.
Page was known as Clara Ann Fowler to her family.
“She grew up in a working class family in Claremore, the same community Will Rogers is from,” Bob Blackburn said, Oklahoma Historical Society.
Page began singing on live radio in Tulsa in the 1940s and that’s where the magic started.
“One day, one of the regular singers could not come in and one of the producers had heard Clara Ann singing in the studios and said, ‘Why don’t you come in and sing?’ And she was immediately recognized for her talent,” Blackburn said.
Her career spanned decades and spawned hits like Tennessee Waltz.
She became the biggest selling artist of all time unseated only two years ago by Celine Dion.
“She continued singing throughout her career until just the last couple of years,” Blackburn said. “She was still out on the road and still touching some of that shared memory of people who grew up listening, especially to Tennessee Waltz,” Blackburn said.
He said plans are underway to feature her at the OK Pop Museum in Tulsa in a few years.
Page died Jan. 1 at a nursing home in Encinitas, Cali., at 85.