Patti Page sang about the “sand dunes and salty air” of Cape Cod in a hit song recorded more than 50 years ago. Now, at 82 years of age, she’s being honored with her own road on the Massachusetts vacation haven, the town of Barnstable and the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce unveiled yesterday. She said it was “mind-boggling” that her name is now on a permanent street sign.
I was Stage Manager in 1960 at the world-famous Latin Casino Theater Restaurant in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, when Patti Page appeared there. She brought with her a Vega-Mike (one of the first commercial usages of this wireless technology) that enabled her to leave the main stage and go into the audience while continuing to sing her song list that included her signature song “Tennessee Waltz,” recorded in 1950, that was one of the biggest-selling singles of the twentieth century, “(How Much is That) Doggie in the Window,” and “Old Cape Cod.”
Vega-Mike is named after Vega Electronics Corporation which first manufactured it in 1960, the midget device was first used by the broadcast media at the 1960 Democratic and Republican National Conventions. It allowed television reporters to roam the floor of the convention to interview participants where Presidential candidates John Kennedy and Richard Nixon were the first celebrities to use the wireless microphone. The wireless microphone was first tested at the Olympic trials held at Stanford University in 1959.
While I was Stage Manger at the Latin Casino Theater Restaurant, Johnnie Mathis and Steve Parker’s show, “Holiday in Japan” appeared there. Producer Steve Parker was married to actress Shirley McClain at the time.