Every once in a while, searching to find out what happened to a singer from the past who should have become much, much better known. One such singer being Brenda Patterson. A few albums in the early 1970s, then no more solo work. A few collaborations in the 1980s and 1990s. Then, largely nothing. Yet she released one album in 1973, the eponymous Brenda Patterson, that was full of heart-wrenching vocals that are as fresh today as nearly forty years ago. Plus, an amazing version of Paul Simon’s, “Congratulations”, arranged by Jim Dickinson. Roaring version of Etta James’ “Dance With Me Henry”. Pieces of the album may be heard here. Maybe it was because she went from Columbia Records to Playboy Records, the latter being a label associated with the magazine, and a label that came and went rather quickly. Picked up the album as deleted, with more than one copy to give away, which I did.
One way or another, an example of so much music that remains superb and timeless, and for some reason doesn’t get reissued.
Maybe should be doing more than just being wistful.
Postscript, April 14, 2011: Title here and discussion of album originally referenced to thirty years ago. Then realizing and correcting what I can’t believe myself: so much that still is so fresh is now nearly forty and fifty years old, as here…(!)
Postscript, May 18, 2011: Passages. One of her major collaborations was with Memphis/Cockrum-based roots musician Carl Wayne “Coon” Elder. Did a search on him to find that he had died in a single-vehicle car accident, at the age of 65, on May 16:
Elder was best known for his work with the Coon Elder Band. The band was part of a wave of progressive rock-oriented country groups to emerge from Memphis in the 1970s, including the Amazing Rhythm Aces. Elder led an outfit that featured songstress Brenda Patterson.
Wondering where she is now…
Postscript, November 5, 2011: Very good news. I have just discovered that the 1973 album has been reissued, at the beginning of 2011, by Big Pink Music–a company based, not in America, but in South Korea.
Postscript, March 31, 2012: Brenda’s superb version of the Etta James classic, “Dance With Me Henry”/”Roll With Me Henry” has now been posted to Youtube: