|"Some people went to church on Sundays...
we went to Cal’s Corral. I used to sit there at the end of the stage and
look up at those people and think "I'm going to do this someday" -
Patty Booker wasn't born in the center of country music's universe. In fact, she missed it by almost 2,000 miles. Where she's been most of her life is in Southern California. Born in San Pedro to parents transplanted from Oklahoma. She spent rnuch of her childhood inundated with country music-West Coast style.
At the age of six, Patty and her younger sister, Judy would occasionally go with their father to the Wilmington Union Hall and sing while he and other men searched job lists for employment. This was her first captive audience. She soon graduated to singing to the cows in the field next to their house. Even the bovine community seemed to enjoy the rich tones coming from her guitar and the honest expression of her voice. Soon came three children that Patty entertained while doing the laundry and cooking. Its no wonder that Loretta Lynn was a tremendous inspiration as Booker looked into the window of country music.
Booker and her band The Hired Hands became hard-hitting champions of the honky tonk circuit in 1985. Heads began to turn and ears began to listen when Patty would dig into songs such as Loretta's "You ain't woman enough" or Tammy Wynette's "stand by your man." She sang them with as much heart and fervor. Her talent attracted some of the top musicians in L.A. and Orange County. She gave them an opportunity to play real country music. Patty's audience began to grow after recording her signature song, "Ninety Nine" written by Gary Brandin, on A Town South Of Bakersfield Vol.3. She began playing the L.A. country circuit and became a regular presence on Ronnie Mack's Barn Dance. Booker has shared billings with artists such as Lucinda Williams, The reverend Horton Heat, and Chris Gaffney.
In 1998, singer-songwriter Jann Browne, a long time friend and fan of Booker's, began collaborating with her in song writing. Matthew Barnes, Jann's guitarist, along with Browne began working on co-producing Booker's ten song CD entitled "I Don't Need All That", which is due out this spring. Six of the ten songs displays Booker's "lived in" writing. "My songs come more from what I feel, where I've been" she tells the L. A. Times. Browne recently said in an interview: "This cd is a depiction of Booker's wonderful talent as a writer and singer. There's not an inkling of pretension. She's pure, raw, roots, country music and she rocks with twang!!” Patty turned down a European tour to be in Texas when her grandchild is born, but in October she will get a 2nd chance to do a European tour with Jann Browne and Chris Gaffney. As long as artists such as Patty Booker keep surfacing, there's hope for the future of country music. ”Booker; who plays rhythm guitar; brings to bear a craggy expanse of a voice that alternately recalls the feistiness of Brenda Lee, the vulnerability of Tammy Wynette and the steely resolve of Loretta Lynn.”~~Randy Lewis LA. Times
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