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Chapter One: “Doggie in the Window” and the 1950s Pop Single. Rock and roll didn't provoke the first controversy around pop singles: before that, novelty records that used newly available multitracking effects to sound unusual were attacked by jazz fans and other purists. Patti Page, born to Oklahoma sharecroppers, had one of these too-polished hits, hated as much by rockers as antirockers. If “Doggie in the Window” was fated to be damned by “Hound Dog,” what does that tell us about the murkiness of pop taste as it gets used to categorize people? There is nothing inherently oppositional about 1950s rock and roll in relationship to novelty pop, just a tendency to dismiss singers like Page from the onset.

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