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Pat Yankee - Jazz Singer







     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" Robinson.

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.






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