Sister of Diane Lewis.
Very popular in the northern soul scene.
Patsy Lewis was born on October 23, 1947 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.In 1951 her family moved to Detroit, Michigan in where she attended Central High School, it was here that her dream of a singing career began.Patsy performed where ever she could in Glee clubs, talent shows and with the school band, throughout her school years and like most singers, sang in the church choir.
In the early sixties, Pat along with her sister Diane Lewis, formed a group called The Adorables, along with two other sisters Betty and Jackie Winston. They signed with Golden World, owned by Ed Wingate, who along with Joanne Bratton managed the group.
Whilst with Golden World the girls recorded, “Deep Freeze,” “Daddy Please,” “Ooh Boy,” “Be” and “Schools All Over.” as well as recording “Romeo and Juliet” with The Reflections.
To fulfill her dream Patsy decided to venture out on her own as a single artist. With a small name change, she dropped the “sy”, becoming Pat Lewis, she recorded her first single at Golden World, “Can’t Shake It Loose.” She also began singing background vocals for various other artists.
The Andantes, the main backing group for Motown Records, were frequently hired by Golden World. One day a member of the band couldn't make the session, so Pat was brought as replacement. She did such a good job that and she was asked to sing background at Motown and numerous other recording studios, most notably she recorded at Brunswick Records in Chicago on Jackie Wilson’s album, “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher.”
In 1966,Golden World was sold to Motown. Pat then signed with Solid Hit Bound Records, owned by Don Davis and LaBaron Taylor. Here she recorded several singles, “Look At What I Almost Missed,” “Warning,” “No One To Love,” “No Baby No,” “The Looser.” During this period in the mid-sixties she was making personal appearances, doing background arrangements for various artist and vocals along with her sister Diane and Rose Williams
In 1967, Aretha Franklin asked her to become one of her background singers on the road. She remained with Aretha off and on for a few years traveling and recording in the studio. During this time she continued to arrange and sing background along with Diane and Rose for many writers, producers and recording companies. They were simply known as The Group (3).
In 1969, Don Davis owner of United Sound Recording Studio (writer/producer for Stax) booked The Group for a session for Isaac Hayes album “Hot Buttered Soul.” Pat was hired to arrange and record background vocals. When the album was released it was a hit. Isaac called The Group and asked if they wanted to tour with him. Pat gave Aretha Franklin her notice and The Group was renamed Hot, Buttered & Soul.
While working with Don Davis and Isaac Hayes, Hot, Buttered & Soul recorded background vocals for many of the Stax artists.They also remained Isaac Hayes's opening act and studio group from 1969-1982. They went on world tours and appeared on TV shows nationally and abroad.
Pat continued to arrange all background vocals but was not given credit until a later date. During Isaac’s off time, Hot, Buttered & Soul traveled with Aretha Franklin and Rick Dees “Disco Duck.”.
In 1972, Hot, Buttered & Soul moved to Memphis. In 1974 they added a fourth group member, Barbara McCoy, a former member of the The Charmels, and became the Hot, Buttered & Soul.
Pat also worked for Shoe Productions where she did commercials for several products. Singing became scarce due to Isaac’s career difficulties, so Pat and Diane moved back to Detroit, but still worked with Isaac off and on.
After returning to Detroit, Pat formed a band “Thrust” and began making personal appearances in clubs in Detroit and Canada. There was not much work during this time. In 1984, Pat began performing in musicals at dinner theaters, “In The Lawyers Club,” and “The English Room” at the Book Cadillac Hotel... .
In 1985, she reunited with her long time friend and producer, George Clinton, arranging and singing for such artist as Funkadelic, Prince, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bootsy Collins,Tracy Ullman, Paul Simon, and the theme song for The Junkyard Dog. Pat still continues to work with George Clinton to this day.
In 1986, Pat was contacted by the late Edwin Starr, who resided in England to perform her hit singles from the sixties for the RicTic Review. The performers included Al Kent, J.J. Barnes, Lou Ragland and Edwin Starr. This opened up a whole new world, the world of Northern Soul.
Pat toured the U.K. Northern Soul scene over the next few years. During that time she met Ian Levine, a friend of Kim Weston, who wanted to come over to Detroit and record many of the Motown Artist and their old hits, plus some original songs that he and some of the artists had written. Ian hired Pat as the coordinator, background vocal arranger, lead and background singer for the Detroit and Los Angeles family.
In 1999, Pat was employed through Ian by K-Tel Records, to do a Gospel Album. Pat had three weeks to complete the project, recording seventy-six songs, in all. This included sixty gospels, sixteen Christian songs, fifteen tracks as a quartet, forty tracks in a choir and one as a duet. She, of course, made the deadline.
Later that year Hot, Buttered & Soul reunited in Memphis, Tennessee, and performed at the New Daisy Theater, along with the “Masqueraders.”
In 2002, Pat’s health began to fail. She acquired a rare blood disorder which resulted in both knees being replaced (2003) and the removal of her spleen (2004), which seemed to take care of the problem.
In 2005, Pat received a call from T.J. Lubinski to sing backup for The Four Tops, Brenda Hollaway, Kim Weston and Francis Nero for the Motown - The Old Days PBS Special .As the Industry learned that Pat was back, the phone started to ring.
In December 2005 the world of Northern Soul called for the sixties group,The Adorables, to perform what they called a Northern Soul Weekender in Northampton, England. Pat and the girls returned to the U.K. in 2006 and performed her sixties hits.
In 2006, Hitsville Legends was founded, an organization involving legendary artists from the Motor City. Pat became a member. She co-produced and arranged the voices on an album called “Motown Smooth Jazz”. Another album released by the Hitsville Legends is a compilation album featuring the legendary artists. One such legendary Motown group, featured is “The Original Vandellas” (Annette Helton and Rosalind Holmes), long time friends of Pats. Annette and Rosalind asked Pat if she would like to be their lead singer. Pat jumped at the chance and so became “The Original Vandellas featuring Pat Lewis".
Pat Lewis Discography
- 86 Vocals
- 5 Instruments & Performance
- 83 Writing & Arrangement
- 1 Featuring & Presenting
- 1 Conducting & Leading
- 3 Production
- 2 Technical