Category: patti austin

Born on this day: August 10, 1950 – R&B and Jazz vocal legend Patti Austin (born in Harlem, NY). Happy 69th Birthday, Patti!!!

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On this day in music history: September 18, 1981 – “Every Home Should Have One”, the fourth album by Patti Austin is released. Produced by Quincy Jones, it is recorded at Mediasound Studios in New York City and Westlake Audio in Los Angeles, CA from March 16, 1981 – May 31, 1981. Considered one of the best kept secrets in the music industry, singer Patti Austin establishes herself as one of the most in demand background vocalists and commercial jingle singers during the 60’s and 70’s. Having released her first record at five years old, Patti initially finds only minor success in her recording career. That turns around with the assistance of Austin’s godfather, superstar producer Quincy Jones. Having been prominently featured on Jones’ albums “Sounds… And Stuff Like That” and “The Dude”, he signs his goddaughter to his newly established label Qwest Records in 1980. Q pulls out all of the stops to surround her with excellent material, and the best musicians around for the hugely talented vocalist to shine. Songwriter Rod Temperton (“Rock With You”, “Thriller” “Razzmatazz”) is again called on by Jones, and contributes four songs to the project. The album features a number of top notch players including John Robinson, Chris Parker (drums), Louis Johnson, Anthony Jackson, Eddie Watkins, Jr. (bass), Greg Phillinganes, Richard Tee, David Foster, Bob James, Michael Boddicker, Rod Temperton (keyboards), Steve Lukather, Eric Gale (guitars), Ernie Watts (saxophone), Paulinho Da Costa and Ralph MacDonald (percussion). It is led by the instant dance floor classic “Do You Love Me” (#24 R&B, #1 Club Play), with the track “The Genie” also receiving heavy club play. The third single, the romantic ballad “Baby Come To Me” (#1 Pop and AC, #9 R&B) featuring Patti dueting with fellow Jones protege James Ingram, initially fails to become a hit on its first release in April of 1982. Thanks to its exposure on the soap opera “General Hospital”, it revives interest in the single and album. The title track “Every Home Should Have One” (#55 R&B, #62 Pop, #24 AC) is re-released in remixed form in late February of 1983, following the chart topping success of the previous single. Originally released on vinyl and cassette, the CD release features the remixed version of title track, and the edited single version of “Baby Come To Me”, rather than the original mix with the longer intro. “Every Home Should Have One” peaks at number sixteen on the Billboard R&B album chart, number thirty six on the Top 200, number nine on the Jazz chart, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Born on this day: August 10, 1950 – R&B and Jazz vocal legend Patti Austin (born in Harlem, NY). Happy 68th Birthday, Patti!!!

Dinah Washington and her goddaughter Patti Austin

Patti Austin made her Apollo Theater debut at the age of 4 on a dare. “We went to see the Apollo to see Dinah Washington,” said Austin, who often met renowned musicians growing up through her musical father, a professional trombone player. With some precociousness, Austin ended up on stage. “Dinah dared me to sang, I sang, and I finished singing and ran off the stage. The audience liked it, and I liked that they liked it, and I ran into the arms of a guy who was on one knee in the wing.” That guy was Sammy Davis Jr., who asked her parents if she could do his show the following week, and a robust musical career was born.

Austin has released 17 solo albums and has performed with the likes of Michael Jackson and Paul Simon. She won a Grammy in 2008 for best jazz vocal for her album “Avant Gershwin.”

In an interview with Lois Reitzes, Austin discussed her relationship with her godfather Quincy Jones, Johnny Mathis and her two musical idols, Ella Fitzgerald and Judy Garland. Austin first saw Garland perform at age 13. Regardless of Garland’s dwindling technical ability at the time, Austin said that performance totally changed her life. “None of her technical ability matter because there was so much soul and so much heart and so much skill. And I had never seen someone perform that way,” said Austin. “She had to act her way through stuff, and she was brilliant at it.”


Quincy Jones – Ai No Corrida (ft. Dúné and Patti Austin) (1981, A&M Records)