The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #57151   Message #4167279
Posted By: Rain Dog
10-Mar-23 - 03:29 PM
Thread Name: Ottilie Patterson query
Subject: RE: Ottilie Patterson query
On BBC 4 this evening at 21.00
Also available now on the BBC player

My name is Ottilie

Soul singer Dana Masters traces the story of Ottilie Patterson, who for a dazzling few years in the late 1950s and early 1960s was a pioneer of British music.

One night in 1959, a 27-year-old female singer took to the stage at Muddy Waters' renowned blues club in Chicago.

After a stunning set, a member of the rapturous African American audience called out: 'Hey lady, you sing real pretty. How come you sing like one of us?'

The singer was Ottilie Patterson. And she wasn’t black. She wasn’t even American. She was from the small town of Comber, in County Down, just ten miles from Belfast. A rising star of British jazz and blues music, she was the acclaimed singer with the Chris Barber Band who paved the way for bands like The Rolling Stones and The Pretty Things, inspiring their passion for American blues.

Why did Ottilie, who became the UK’s first female blues singer to achieve near pop status and perform with legends like Muddy Waters, Ella Fitzgerald and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, disappear from the story of British music?

Singer-songwriter Dana Masters sees in Ottilie a woman whose story, in many respects, mirrors her own. Not just their shared love of jazz and blues, but how Ottilie travelled from Northern Ireland to find acceptance as a singer in black America, with Dana making the journey in reverse, to build a life and career in Ireland.

Featuring Jools Holland, Jacqui Dankworth, Dick Taylor (The Pretty Things), Stu Morrison (The Chris Barber Band), and blues musician Ronnie Greer, and a revealing, never-before-heard interview with Ottilie Patterson.

Dana discovers the challenges Ottilie faced as a woman in music in the late 1950s and 1960s, and the cost of a career devoted to performance, in a film which reclaims her rightful place in the history of British music.