About the Song
A novelty song written by Bob Merrill in 1952, “(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?” was originally recorded by Clara Ann Fowler, popularly known as Patti Page. The song was initially recorded on December 8, 1952, and was released the following year, January 1953 by Mercury Records.
“(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?” roots back to the folk tune, Carnival of Venice. In addition, the tune was based on the song “Oh, Where, Oh, Where Has My Little Dog Gone?“
The song was a chart-topper. It has penetrated chart after chart not just in the United States but also in other parts of the world. To note, it was the first song with a question in the title to place no. 1 on the charts.
Selling over two million copies, the song was a nationwide hit. It stormed the charts when it peaked at no. 1 on both the Billboard and Cash Box charts in 1953. On April 4, 1953, Page’s rendition of the song placed no. 1 in the US Billboard Magazine chart. It stayed on the charts for 8 weeks.
Mercury Records, the recording company that released the song, failed to widely distribute the song in the UK. However, another recording of “(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?” was released by English singer Lita Roza. Interestingly, Roza’s version went on to become no. 1 on the UK Singles chart in 1953.
The song did not only top the US and the UK charts. Additionally, “(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?” was a chart-topper in Australia and Luxembourg. It placed no. 1 on the Australian Singles chart, and also, no. 1 on the Radio Luxembourg Sheet Music chart.
“(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?” is an example of a novelty song that went on to become a massive hit in the 1950s. A novelty song refers to a comical or nonsensical song, performed principally for its comical effect (Wikipedia). This kind of music has been popularized and successful during that time. Some well-known novelty songs that rose to fame since the 1930s was Bing Crosby’s “Pistol-Packin’ Mama“, Merv Griffin’s “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts“, and Bob Merrill’s “If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d’ve Baked a Cake.”
In Patti Page‘s original recording of “(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?“, it included the sound of dogs barking as credited on the label as “Barks by Joe and Mac.”
Watch the original rendition of Patti Page’s “(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?” below:
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