NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – He is the hidden gem of Dallas who as 71-years-old, is still searching for that hit. Bobby Patterson just might be the greatest singer you have never heard of in your life.
He is a recognized producer, songwriter, promoter and a voice like no other. Yet hardly anyone in the city he has always called home knows who Bobby Patterson is when it comes to music.
“The only thing I wish could have happened is if I had that one song that people could remember,” said Patterson.
For the better part of the last five decades, Patterson had his hand in some of the biggest hits. but somehow, it is his voice that never caught attention.
“The contracts we signed back in those days were contracts where the company owned everything. You, your momma, your grand-mama, your grand-kids and all the stuff was signed away,” said Patterson.
As a teen in the 60s, his band The Mustangs and his career were sidetracked by bad recording deals. Now at 71, he is still searching for a song that people will remember. “I’m just fortunate enough to be here when a lot of my friends are gone,” he said.
Patterson grew up in Oak Cliff, where he gigged wherever he could. Notably, he played in Downtown Dallas at the Carousel Club and Vegas Club, both owned by Jack Ruby.
“He kept telling me, ‘They killed the President, can you believe it? They killed the President, they’re going to pay!’” recalled Patterson.
The association with the man who killed Lee Harvey Oswald made him the center of several hours of questioning by both the Warren Commission and the FBI surrounding the JFK assassination. “I was terrified. I was in this little room with a stenographer and they kept asking the same question over and over.”
Patterson now sticks to more reputable venues like the confines of South By Southwest.
Marcos Prado, a local DJ and record collector, said, “He should have been huge.”
Prado said people are always surprised when he tells them the record he is playing is by a local who is still alive. But across the pond in England, that is where Patterson seem to be most appreciated. Prado said, “You take Bobby overseas and he’s treated like royalty!”
While he can only wish one for recognition from home, the “soul survivor” is going to keep on, keeping on.
“I never had that one song that people could remember, but I had a whole lot of good music,” Patterson said proudly. “Never too late.”
Patterson just released a new album, Got More Soul.
(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)