Born in Lodi, Yankee took dance lessons
as a child in both her home town and San Francisco,
and by the tender age of 13 was already tap dancing
in shows at the Golden Gate Theater. Two years
later, she went to New York, where she was signed
by Ted Lewis, and spent the next few years touring
East Coast theaters in Lewis' variety show, appearing
with Ben Blue, Sophie Tucker and Bill "Bojangles"
Returning to San Francisco, Yankee played numerous
club dates before signing with Ray and Bea Goman
in their North Beach review at Goman's "Gay
'90s" nightclub for five years. She then
formed her own singing act and toured major clubs
around the country. In 1958 she joined the Turk
Murphy band in San Francisco, and sang with him
at the famed Earthquake McGoon's for five years
before forming another band, Pat Yankee and the
Sinners, touring the Las Vegas/Tahoe/Reno circuit.
From 1972- 1981, she lived in Madrid, Spain,
performed at the Whiskey Jazz Hotel, Dallas Club
and Cova de Drogue, and was called the white queen
of jazz by the Spanish press. Returning to San
Francisco, Pat once again sang with Turk Murphy
at both Earthquake McGoon's and at the Fairmont
Hotel until Murphy's death in 1987.
Yankee has performed To Bessie, With Love for
the past five years at numerous jazz festivals
around the country, in addition to performing
at events overseas -- the Cork Jazz Festival in
Ireland and jazz venues in Germany, Sweden and
Australia, appearing with artists such as Dave
Brubeck, Nina Simone, Carmen McRae and Gerry Mulligan.
She was named Empress of the Jubilee at the Sacramento
Jazz Jubilee in May 1999.
She has made several recordings for RCA, Roulette
and others. She has five recent CDs, her latest
being Yankee Salutes Armstrong on the GHB label.
She has been listed in Leonard Feather's Encyclopedia
of Jazz since 1958. To Bessie, With Love was broadcast
in December 1997 on KGO-TV (ABC). Yankee resides
in San Francisco.