LifeNotes: King of the Party Pat Patrick Passes

pat patrick

Pat Patrick. Photo: Pat Patrick Facebook

Pat Patrick left his mark on the music business as a studio owner, record producer, jingle writer, song publisher, recording artist and, most famously, as the leader of Nashville’s top party band.

Patrick passed away on Tuesday, June 16. The music he made in The Pat Patrick Band formed the soundtrack for thousands of society functions, weddings, collegiate events and private parties. His various groups bearing his name could entertain doing pop oldies, r&b “beach music,” rock ’n’ roll or big-band swing. Many of the finest session musicians of Music Row performed in his ensembles over the years.

Born Richard Corry Patrick III, he was a Nashville native who graduated from Montgomery Bell Academy in 1965. He formed his first band, Saturns Combo, when he was a teenager and was soon playing gigs at Hillwood Country Club, Belle Meade Country Club, high-school dances and fraternity parties. Around 1968, the group changed its name to The Fabulous Beech Nut Show Band. Next, it was known as The Kracker Jacks Show Band.

pat patrick in tennesseanAfter his graduation from Vanderbilt University, he expanded the group several times. During the 1970s, The Pat Patrick Band specialized in cover versions of rock hits. In 1978, the group’s increased size allowed it to graduate to swing music. The Pat Patrick Band recorded a number of albums on its own label.

Meanwhile, Pat Patrick became more and more involved in the business of Music Row. At first, he worked for the independent label Certron Records. He then became the creative director of the recording studio Audio Media. In addition to attracting the top artists in Nashville as clients, the facility became the home of his commercial jingles business.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Patrick produced more than 5,000 jingles for such companies as Holiday Inn, GMC, Chevrolet, Disneyland, Goodyear, Tidy Cat, K-mart and Buick, as well as many local businesses. Several of these earned Addy Awards.

He formed a close relationship with the Disney company. This led to producing and performing on a series of children’s albums, including Mousercize, Rock Around the Mouse and Mickey Mouse Disco. These records have earned him more than 30 million-seller awards.

Audio Media became Cal IV Music. Patrick purchased the Ray Stevens studio on Grand Avenue and renamed it Grand Central Studios in 1983. Here, he began producing such Christian-music stars as First Call, Steve Green, Bruce Carroll and Amy Grant.

He next co-founded the publishing company the Grand Music Group. Among the company’s copyrights were “High Cotton” (Alabama), “1982” (Randy Travis), “What’s Going on in Your World” (George Strait) and “Out of Your Shoes” (Lorrie Morgan).

In recent years, the entrepreneur has been the creative director of Pearl Trax Studios, Patilison Tunes and Pat Patrick Music.

He is survived by Dr. Elizabeth Cato and daughters Mary and Ellie. Visitation will be today, Thursday June 18, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at Woodlawn Roesch-Patton Funeral Home. His memorial service is Friday at 11:30 a.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church with visitation an hour prior at the church.

Honorary pallbearers will include SAE fraternity brothers, The Pat Patrick Band and the MBA Class of 1965. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Kathleen Patrick Hughes Endowed Scholarship of Education at the University of Alabama, Box 870231, Tuscaloosa, AL, 35487-0231.


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Category: Artist, Featured, Obituary

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Robert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.

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