Bobby Patterson

Texas Platters

Phases and Stages

Bobby Patterson

Soul Is My Music: The Best of Bobby Patterson (Sundazed) While Dallas' Bobby Patterson never had the chart success of Southern soul contemporaries like Joe Tex and Johnnie Taylor, this lovingly assembled 2-CD compilation of his Abnak/Jetstar sides goes a long way toward correcting that slight. Patterson signed with Dallas-based Abnak Records in 1965, recording mostly for its Jetstar imprint until the label shut down in 1970. As a regional act striving for national prominence on a small label, you can almost hear Patterson plotting novel angles for a breakthrough hit. The most obvious is his penchant for "answer" songs. He answers Joe Tex's "Skinny Legs and All" with "I'm Leroy -- I'll Take Her" and Wilson Pickett's "Funky Broadway" with "Broadway Ain't Funky No More." This set even contains the previously unissued James Brown answer song "Mama's Got a New Bag Too." These are decent enough souvenirs, but Patterson's genuine country-soul stripes come through loud and clear on less contrived gems like the Dan Penn/Buddy Killen tearjerker "Long Ago." Patterson channels Tex's propensity for down-home humor with the funky generation gap anthem "The Good Ol' Days" and the melodramatic, brother-stole-my-girl testimonial "Keeping It in the Family." Patterson's biggest hit (No. 35 on Billboard's R&B chart) was 1969's "T.C.B. or T.Y.A.," a Stax-styled proto-funk workout that logged extra mileage with its semicontroversial initials (the record company made Patterson say "T.Y.A." stood for "turn yourself around"). Although he borrowed liberally (some might say brazenly) from the Stax/Volt, Motown, and Fame Studios sounds, there's no denying the energy, groove, and high-caliber showmanship Patterson projects on the best tracks. After Abnak folded, Patterson recorded for Shreveport's Paula/Jewel label, cutting such sides as "How Do You Spell Love?," which later became a minor hit for the Fabulous Thunderbirds. When he's not serving as the jive-bantering morning man on Grand Prairie's Soul 73 KKDA-AM, Patterson continues to perform today, keeping Southern soul alive for those who missed it the first time around.

***.5

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