Patti La Belle

Patti LaBelle
Cape Cod Melody Tent 
Late 1980’s

Well my excitement in opening for one of my heroes must have shown, because I got a standing ovation for my performance. 

Patti was amazing began her performance by singing a spiritual song off stage in memory of her sisters who were all lost to cancer (they were all young, she said in an interview that she never thought she’d make 50). It was particularly moving because neither Patti or her sisters were on stage, so for the duration of the song it was as if she were with them….

 She was personal, charismatic, and totally became the songs she sang. You knew this wasn’t a performance of music right from the start, she was the music. As we martial arts people say, “She left it all on the floor.” She was absolutely transparent, and I felt as if I’d known her for much longer than a couple of hours.  At the end of the show she sang “If You Don’t know Me By Now” and if anyone in the audience didn’t feel that they really knew her, they were comatose.

After her show I sat on the couch outside her dressing room waiting for a chance to meet her and you’ll never guess who walked in to see Patti……PEARL BAILEY! I said hello and told her I was waiting to see Patti too and that I had opened the show for her. She said, “Well what are you doin’ out here? You come on in with me!”  I said “Could I get a picture with you Miss Bailey?”, and she said, “I’ll give you something better than that Honey!” and she threw her arms around me and hugged me like I was family..I’ll never forget it.

Well I met Patti and she said she enjoyed my opening and she gave my Dad a kiss. 

6 years later Jodi Goodman booked me at Harborlights Concert Pavillion on Boston Harbor to open for Patti again……My Dad was with me and had been in love with Patti since she kissed him at the Melody Tent. I did my opening and waited with Dad on the secured tarmac behind the mainstage. There was about a 60 foot walk from the door of her dressing room to the back stairs that lead to the mainstage. Patti came out being rushed along by her security and manager, but I managed to get her attention long enough to let her know I had supported her before and I was very happy to do it again, and to show her a picture of her giving Dad a kiss at the Melody Tent. Her people rushed her quickly by and said “We have to go!” Dad’s face showed his disappointment……..

Well they walked her to the back stairs to make her entrance, but then she stopped short of stepping on to the stairs to start her show, shook loose of her managers arm, did a 180, and walked all the way back across the tarmac and kissed Dad again! ……If you don’t know her by now…….