McKinnon , Patrician Anne
Origin: Shilo, Manitoba
Patrician Anne McKinnon was born in Shilo, Manitoba on March 17, 1948. That's not a typo; her name has been the source of debate amongst Canadian music fans for decades. According to rumor, her father was in a "celebratory" mood on the evening of her birth and when filling out her certificate, added an "n" at the end; thus Patrician.
Much like her older sister Catherine, Patricia(n) began singing and acting very young. The McKinnon family moved around a lot in her youth due to there father's line of work and Catherine's early success. The family moved to London, Ontario around the time Patricia(n) turned six. While her older sister was busy establishing herself as an actress and singer on various local television shows, Patricia(n) was just making her talents known. She had, by this time, already won a handful of talent and singing contests, and her parents were convinced that she should receive musical training; something they were also considering for Catherine.
After much consideration, the McKinnon family relocated to Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1955. They enrolled the girls in the Mount St. Vincent Academy that year, in the hopes of furthering their musical education; building on their already apparent talents. While attending, Patricia(n) would occasionally represent her school at various music festivals and contests; often winning honors for herself and her school.
Patricia(n) wouldn't make her professional debut until she was a little older. Radio came first around age eleven, but her first television credit was at fourteen, on a show titled "High Society." The show featured talented individuals from schools across the eastern coast. For two years, she made numerous contributions to the show in way of musical renditions of popular songs.
Patricia(n)s first big break came in 1964 when, after a grueling audition process, she was chosen to join the cast of "Singalong Jubilee." This was a "a CBC Television" program produced in Halifax, Nova Scotia, by Manny Pittson; that ran from 1961 to 1974. Much like it's predecessor "Don Messer's Jubilee," it featured musical performances by local singers playing folk, country, and gospel music; in studio, on stage and on location. The cast would record and release seven albums between 1964 and 1972 (mostly for ARC Records). The self-titled debut album came out in August 1964 and featured Patricia(n)'s first singing role on record.
Patricia(n)'s charisma and talent made themselves apparent to audiences of "Singalong Jubilee" week after week. Executives at the CBC wanted to use her for their upcoming variety show, another Halifax gig, ""Frank’s Bandstand". The show was hosted by Frank Cameron and was dubbed as the Halifax segment of the "Music Hop" series. She appeared on Frank’s TV show, from it's debut on October 2, 1964 to it's final episode on June 25, 1965. Patricia(n), alongside Karen Oxley, Davie Wells and D.J. Jeffries introduced folk, rock, and country music to audiences across Canada for nearly a year.
Patricia(n) on the other hand was just getting started as a solo/lead vocalist. The success of Singalong Jubilee and Frank's Bandstand had her in the sights of the CBC and ARC Records. Much like Singalong Jubilee before it, the cast of Frank's Bandstand recorded an album for ARC Records. Released in April 1965, the album featured Patricia(n)'s first lead vocal performances on “I Only Want to Be With You” and “As Tears Go By.” ARC Records finally decided to pull the trigger on the talented young singer that summer; signing her to a solo artist recording deal.
Her debut single was recorded in Toronto at ARC Studios during July 1965. The single "Blue Lipstick/What About Me" was commercially released in October and made it to #5 in the "Hot New Hits" section of the CHUM Chart on November 15, 1965. The A-Side "Blue Lipstick" was specifically written for her by P.F. Sloan in May after hearing a tape of Patricia(n) singing.
The next few years mostly saw her working in radio and T.V. With the cancellation of Frank's Bandstand, Patricia(n) focused most of her energy on the Singalong Jubilee show as well as brief stings over the years on "Music Hop, Show Of The Week, The Ian Tyson Show, The Jubilee Show, A Go-Go '66 and After Four." . January/February 1966 saw "Blue Lipstick" leap-frogging it's way to #13 on the RPM charts, giving some renewed interest to the fantastic track.
Her next solo recording came in 1968. She was tasked with recording a song for ARC's subsidiary label Yorkville Records. This wouldn't be a standalone single but rather part of a compilation of the labels artists. "Changin' Time" was her lone inclusion and is a chilling psychedelic blast; characteristic of the fantastic original Psych material found on the Yorkville label. No other info on the songs origins are available (namely, whether it was actually released as a single).
After the compilation in 1968, she released no more solo music until 1976.