In 1950, Patti Page made history when she recorded “Tennessee Waltz” to serve as B-side to the seasonal single “Boogie Woogie Santa Clause.”
Originally released by Pee Wee King and His Golden West Cowboys in 1948, Page turned the song into a multimillion seller with her version by selling up to ten million copies, making it the largest-selling record by a female artist throughout the recording history. It’s even the last song to sell a million copies of sheet music.
Of course, Page’s “Tennessee Waltz” also dominated the charts.
It actually reached the top spot of Billboard’s Most-Played in Juke Boxes chart, where it spent thirteen weeks. The song was also a country hit for Page, ranking No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart for three weeks.
Page’s rendition of “Tennessee Waltz” proved to be so popular that it was made to be an official song of the state of Tennessee in 1965. Three decades later, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Patti Page Losing Her Man
With lyrics by Redd Stewart and music by Pee Wee King, “Tennessee Waltz” finds Patti Page introducing his darling to an old friend, who eventually stole him away from her. “Yes, I lost my little darling the night they were playing the beautiful Tennessee Waltz,” she sings.
Page chose to record the song, being her father’s favorite tune. The success of her version led to covers by some of the most notable artists in the music industry, including Patsy Cline, Emmylou Harris, Kitty Wells, and Elvis Presley.
Tune in and listen to “Tennessee Waltz” by Patti Page by playing the video below.