Born in 1938, her real name was Patricia Thomas. She appeared on the scene in 1961 when she was just 24 with the recording of “Desafinado” (Slightly Out of Tune) for Verve Records. It was the first vocal English version of the new bossa nova hit by Antonio Carlos Jobim. The tune came out on a single with One Note Samba, her debut as Verve’s bright, new recording star.
The seventh of eight children, her talent is inherited from her parents, both of whom sang in church choirs. Pat’s sister Mildred is a singer, and her brother Earl Teddy sings and plays drums with Dakota Staton and Carmen McRae. Pat attended Dunbar Vocational in Chicago where she had decided to become a dress designer. She summered as a Red Cross swimming instructor, and her athletic ability spread to baseball and basketball as well. But dress designing and sports have gone a-glimmering. Pat’s a singer.
Pat Thomas began...