Lost but not least! Patti Jo – Ain’t No Love Lost (Scepter Records)
OMG. From the first notes of ‘Ain’t No Love Lost’, you can feel you’re in front of something special. From Patti Jo‘s voice speakin’ of which you can tell it’s the one of a teenager. An example somehow reminding of Michael Jackson. But also of Freddie James and/or Stacy Lattisaw by the end of the 70’s. To its stellar production by the likes of Curtis Mayfield bringing the whole to a rare level.
Comin’ up in a percussive flow with infectious horns and strings, ‘Ain’t No Love Lost’ has something of cinematic. And most definitely that flavor which makes Curtis Mayfield‘s productions like no other. Meanwhile, I wouldn’t be that surprised learning its concept / apprpoach more or less inspired Earth, Wind & Fire by the time they put together the memorable ‘Fantasy’.
Seeing the light back in 1972 as a 3:18 7 inch version, ‘Ain’t No Love Lost’ reappeared three years later. This as a part of the ‘Disco Gold’ compilation under the direction of Tom Moulton, with an 5:55 Extended Reedit. This makin’ of the album in question a quite worth the check investment at the end.
“The heart has its reasons that reason knows not” sounds pretty much what we could tell about Patti Jo. An artist speakin’ of whom so few has been expressed. With this heavily contributing makin’ of her one of the greatest unknown Soul singers of her time. But also typically a mystery. With only fragments of info here or there, but no biography made available for a better understanding as a matter of fact.
Better known as Patti Jo, Ethel Patricia Demps, a native of Otter Creek, FL, was the youngest of a seven-children family. With her parents diying when she was very young, her oldest sister, Jane McKenzie, took care of her.
Patti Jo, as everybody always called her, grew up in DeLand then Miami during High School. Eventually movin’ to Talahassee with the aim to get graduating with a major in speech.
As a matter of fact, she just couldn’t think of another name when she started singing during the weekends while in college. One night, while performing in Miami, she eventually met a young singer by the likes of Barry Smith. With the latter sort of chaperoning her while suggesting her to get a manager, see a music teacher and so fourth to get bookings.
Actually, it’s a newspaper review of a Miami engagement during the Winter of 1970 that brought Patti Jo to the attention of ‘Purlie’ Broadway theatrical producer Philip Rose. Then soon after getting the job, thus filling Melba Moore’s shoes and later on appearing on ‘Bubbling Brown Sugar’.
Jo‘s first single, ‘Ain’t No Love Lost’, saw the light in 1972 after Curtis Mayfield had discovered her. Bringin’ her to sign with New York’s Scepter Records, then comin’ up with a stellar production along with arranger Rich Tufo. And eventually givin” it a follow-up a few months later by the likes of ‘Make Me Believe In You’. What ever happened to the sixteen years old promising talent? Unlike Stacy Lattisaw a few years later, she totally disappeared from the radars with no more release to her credit from then. ‘Make Me Believe’ eventually receiving a Disco Reedit by the likes of Tom Moulton as a part of the first volume of the ‘Disco Gold’ compilation.
For those who frequented the nightclubs in Sunny Isles and Miami Beach, Patti Jo was a terrific singer and performer. Patti Jo started out with the Gospel Jazz Singers (semi-regulars at the Castaways). And she also happened to sing with her ex-boyfriend Barry Smith in PJ Smith & Company.
She lived in Spain and toured Europe for about 10 years in the 80’s. Thus performing with her husband, Edwin Butler.
Shortly after Ed had a stroke, the couple returned to DeLand, FL. Then Patti became a certified Nurse in order to care for him. They eventually cut two albums together in more recent years. Thankfully, Ed had recovered quite well.
Even as late as 2006, Patti happened to be recording and actually cut a version of the classic ‘Mockingbird’ with Pato Banton which never saw the light though.
Patti Jo left this world as discretly as she’d been livin’ her life, as a matter of fact. She sadly died of a stroke on Jul. 30, 2007 in DeLand, FL. Without publicity nor any tribute in the press in regards to her outstanding talent. She was 59.