Pat Daisy: Everybody’s Reaching Out For Someone

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Last Update: 2008
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Hear Pat Daisy sing “Everybody’s Reaching Out”
“Everybody’s Reaching Out”

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Blessed with a gorgeous folk-tinged voice and a burgeoning talent in songwriting, singer PAT DAISY left her small southern town in the 1960’s and headed to Nashville to pursue her childhood dreams of becoming a successful recording star. Under the aegis of legendary songsmith Curly Putman (Green, Green Grass of Home, He Stopped Loving Her Today), who believed strongly in her potential as both an artist and a songwriter, the lovely dark-haired vocalist signed with RCA Records in 1970 and soon afterwards came out with her first single, the self-penned You’re The Reason. Over the next four years, Pat’s promise as a performer grew as she issued a series of eclectic 45’s for the label, including her signature song, theTop 20 hit, Everybody’s Reaching Out For Someone.

Initially encouraged by RCA’s strong commitment to develop her career in slow and steady fashion (much like Capitol Records was doing with fellow newcomer and musical contemporary Anne Murray), Pat eventually learned that promises made (especially those given in haste by record label executives) are all too often, impossible to keep. Within five years of her arrival in Nashville, Pat Daisy’s solo recording career was over, and she retreated to a much more fulfilling home life as a wife and mother—a life that she still enjoys today, over 30 years later. The tradeoff, as Pat will tell you, was more than worth it.

In summer 2008, with the sudden and unexpected loss of her family’s former homestead outside Gallatin, Tennessee still fresh on her mind, Pat was eager to reflect on both her upbringing, and her career in country music, with author and biographer John O’Dowd.

John: Pat, please talk a little about your early years. When and where were you born and what did your parents do for a living?

Pat DaisyPat: I was born Patricia Key on October 10 in Gallatin, Tennessee and I grew up in nearby Bush’s Chapel, a small town which was about eight miles north of Gallatin. The countryside out there was beautiful and I guess that’s why I have always loved nature so much. From the time I was a young child, I always had lots of pets. I raised several ducks and I also once raised a baby squirrel by feeding it with a medicine dropper. And our family always had cats. Our house was at the center of all the activity in the community, being right across from an elementary school and a cemetery separating us from the church. I used to sit in the cemetery every evening and watch the sun set in the valley where a mist would rise over a small lake. It was wonderful. My mother was a homemaker known for her great knowledge of the Bible and her delicious, homemade pies. Her grandparents were from Ireland and when her grandfather boarded a boat for America, her grandmother (who was on the boat telling him goodbye as he intended to send for her later), accidentally got stuck on the boat after it set sail. So, they wound up coming over here together. My father was a shoe cutter at a shoe factory in Gallatin. I’m the youngest of four children. I have three older sisters (the closest to me is eight years older), so I spent my days hanging out with a boy cousin who lived down the lane at the old homestead. I was a tomboy and we spent our days playing together in the fields and woods.

In May of this year [2008], the old house where I grew up burned down and I was devastated. The lady who was living there at the time thought she had turned off a burner on the stove but instead she had turned it all the way up and then left the room. When she came back, it was too late…everything was in flames. All she managed to get out of there was her purse.

I went up to Bush’s Chapel recently to see the ruins. You know, sometimes you have to see something for yourself for it to be real. I was shocked to see that there was nothing left. All my beautiful childhood memories were centered around that old house and it was very sad to see it gone.

John: At what age did you first become interested in music? Do you come from a musical family?

Pat: I don’t ever remember not singing. I have another cousin who lived about a quarter of a mile away from me and he often tells the story of how he always used to hear me singing from way up in a tree I used to climb. My mother sang around the house all the time, so I was always around music.

John: Where did you attend school and were you a good student?

Pat: I attended grades one through eight at the school across from my house. I made very good grades. Later, I rode the bus into Gallatin where I attended high school. I made good grades there, too, but I didn’t like high school because it was so different from what I was accustomed to back in Bush’s Chapel.

John: I read somewhere that you were part of a musical trio in high school with two other girls. Can you talk a little bit about this experience? What was the name of your group and where did you perform? Was it strictly in school, or did you also sing at social events in your hometown?

Pat: The trio was made up of two other girls from the community and me. One girl played the piano and we only sang once a year at a holiday party at the shoe factory where our fathers worked. This was in grade school. I sang in the glee club in high school but never as a soloist or in a group.


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