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Leading Ladies Take the Stage

November 7, 2001

Historian's Notes

Two talented and successful women featured in this week's Almanac!! Shhhh, don't tell anyone, but as a young boy I had a secret crush on Darla! This particular edition of the Almanac was somewhat challenging. I knew that Darla Hood and Patti Page were both from Oklahoma and that they shared the same birth date but I had a hard time finding other biographical information. After a few hours searching I found several good sites on the Internet discussing Patti Page. There is very little information available, however, dealing with Darla Hood. If you want more information on these leading ladies and you have access to the Internet, start searching and good luck!!

Almanac Transcript

Leading ladies take the stage this week on the Oklahoma Audio Almanac.

Hello, Iím Steven Kite.

Oklahoma has, it seems, more than its fair share of famous personalities. Actors, musicians, and celebrities of all sorts call Oklahoma their home. This week we honor two such Oklahomans, Darla Hood and Patti Page.

Itís rare to find someone between the ages of 25 and 60 who doesn't remember The Little Rascals or Our Gang television series. Featuring a continuously shifting cast of misfits and street urchins in various states of adventure, the series ran from the early 1920s through the mid-1940s. There were always a number of leading ladies on The Little Rascals and one of the most memorable in my opinion was Darla. Darla was cute and sweet; just the right combination to attract the attention of boys from all over the neighborhood. Darla, in The Little Rascals and Our Gang series, was played by Darla Hood, a native of Leedy, Oklahoma. It was on November 8th, 1931 that Darla entered the world, and just a short time later she began her acting career. In addition to playing a "Little Rascal," Ms. Hood was the featured voice in a long running Campbell's Soup commercial and appeared periodically in feature films. Darla Hood, the cutest Little Rascal, born this week in 1931.

Sharing the spotlight and birthday with Darla this week is the ever impressive Patti Page. Ms. Page, born Clara Ann Fowler, on November 8th 1927 in Claremore, OKlahoma, received her stage name "Patti Page" when she became the feature performer on a radio show sponsored by the Page Milk Company. From her early Tulsa radio days, Patti Page advanced to performing in small clubs and theatres as well as on her own CBS radio program. Patti was only twenty years old when she made music history with her song Confess. The song was the first ever in the history of recorded music to feature the lead and backup vocals performed by the same person. As a result of the song and its success, overdubbing by vocalists soon became common in the music industry. Page followed this with the release of With My Eyes Wide Open Iím Dreaming, which earned her the first of 18 gold records and featured the performer on all four parts of the four part harmony, again a recording first. Patti Page once again made music history in 1950 when she recorded Tennessee Waltz, the largest selling single in country music history. Ms. Page, still working, recording, and receiving awards, is currently busy with her latest project endorsing maple syrup with a bottle that, when opened, sings her version of Maple From New England.

I'm Steven Knoche Kite.

The Oklahoma Audio Almanac is a joint production of the Oklahoma State University Library and Oklahoma's Public Radio.

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