LOVE & DESIRE: The Patrice Holloway Anthology
Any American cultural archaeologist will tell you, there's nobody more fervent about our musical history than the Britons! In this case, while Top 20 soul hits find themselves in a eternal loop of existence on mainstream oldies radio stations and commercials, the rest of these 'hits' seems to have been dropped off the face of these American shores....which sadly included Patrice Holloway's recorded output and been picked up in the UK in the hands of dedicated collectors and fans.
Even forgotten semi-hits, either reissued exclusively for the UK market or precious original pressings ("prrrrrrecioussssss!!"), have found new life in jukeboxes, discotheques, bars, record shows, music magazines and radio airwaves (legal and illegal) and the more obscure the artist, the higher their cult status will be placed.....;all of which finally lead to Holloway's 2011 official and digital release: 'Love & Desire: The Patrice Holloway Anthology', a 23-track single CD collection of her output for Motown and Capitol Records put out by one of the UK's leading re-issue labels, Kent Records.
While this collection is crammed with A and B sided gems with about 10 unreleased tracks, there are a couple of loop holes to briefly mention here; 'Don't Pretend' is not included and her Los Angeles-based hit 'Do The Del Vikings' was included in her sister's 2009 CD collection Brenda Holloway The Early Years: Rare Recordings 1962-1965; and not here for mysterious reasons.
Nitpicking aside, this is a great collection for not just Josie fans but for 1960's soul fans in general. Instead of boring you here, I'll refer you to Don Charles Hampton's detailed critique of this CD on the blog, Pop Culture Cantina, for the lowdown in this section. Let's just say, whatever he says goes double for me. Besides, he's a far better writer!!
What can be mentioned here is the incredible 20-page booklet that accompanies this package. The book is littered with rare photos of Patrice in various stages of her career as a lead and background singer (with one of her backing up Aretha Franklin!), session player and, yup, as a Pussycat. There are also testimonials from friends and family.
Between these photos and testimonials, Dennis Garvey's liner notes details Patrice's life and career; discovery, recording, singles (few hits and more misses), her relationship with Motown and Capitol, her writing output and pretty much everything in between. It reads as a chapter from a book of forgotten music cult figures.
While her solo recording career might have dried up as her singles failed to chart, she was able to fall back on her active song writing schedule, session work and the occasional Las Vegas gig. She even became a businesswoman by buying and managing apartment buildings all over Los Angeles.
Patrice's story might not have a happy ending as she developed inherited mental hearth issues and much later died of a heart attack in 2006, her family and friends who were interviewed for this set prefer to focus on all the music and love that she gave and left behind....and if this small but plentiful package is any indication, there were a lot of good music and great vibes that were shared.....and now it will continue to do so with the rest of the world.