Exclusive Interview with Patty Parker
Why country music ?
~ Because it runs deep in our family roots. Most all of my uncles and aunts sang or played some form of country music, either professionally or in church. My father, who wrote the one gospel song on my album titled " When Mama Prayed " was a staff vocalist for a coast to coast country radio program out of Oklahoma City. Our family heritage traces back to the folk singers and minstrels of Scotland and Ireland and I guess those music genes just run in my blood. I think Country music is the music of the people and it crosses all states, borders and nations. I enjoy singing country music. But I also enjoy writing songs with my husband Frank Fara ... songs that celebrate the beauty of our land and songs about people whose stories became legend.
The worlds of drummers and producers are mostly men's worlds. What did attract you to these worlds
~ Timing and necessity proved to be my big motivation. When Frank Fara & I decided to go on the road with a country band we had every band member lined up except a drummer. Rather than just be a female lead singer with the band, I thought why not also be one of the first females to play drums in a Country Band. Pop music already had Karen Carpenter which I admired. My music education degree gave me the confidence that I could dive in and do it. I purchased a set of baby blue Ludwig drums and Zildjian cymbals. The music store gave me a few quick lessons and away we went to our first road gig. My decision proved the right one as our Frank Fara Show featuring Patty Parker was soon appearing in the Nevada Casino circuits and performing across the USA and Canada with agents and press media often picking up on the unique "one of the first female country drummers" !
As far as becoming a studio Producer it also seemed the right move to take at the time. Frank wanted to record his original songs in Nashville. We needed someone in the Producer capacity to work with him to polish and arrange his tunes, and figure out the vocal harmonies for his recording session. Since I knew his music so well, had formal training in music arrangements & harmony vocals, it seemed quite natural that I should be the one to Produce our very first professional studio recordings. I've been very honored that it lead to the opportunity to produce many other fine country acts from around the world over these many years, as well as getting to produce on our own special albums of original songs ~ Frank's Songs of the Untamed West, and my album Southwestern Serenade.
If everything would be possible (waking the dead included) , which two people should sing the ultimate country duet?
~ Frank Fara & Patty Parker !!! Would you believe we have not recorded a duet together .... I guess that's something we ought to consider for future !
What song you ever recorded means the most to you and why?
~ I usually answer this question by choosing a different song every time I'm asked. But, the one I would like to share with your readers today is a Tribute song that Frank & I wrote for the Queen of the Cowgirls ~ Dale Evans. It's one of the songs on my Southwestern Serenade Album and its called " She Rode A Horse Called Buttermilk ". It brings back such pleasant memories because I was actually able to sing it in person to Dale Evans at a special show honoring her many years of success in western films and music with her pard & husband Roy Rogers. I cherish the nice handwritten note and autographed photo that Roy & Dale sent to thank me for that song.
What song or recording artists, as a teenager, do you hate to admit (now) that you actually liked?
~ I must admit that I was a big fan of Annette Funicello and the Mouseketeers. One of my biggest treats was when our family made a trip to Disneyland back in those early fun filled days and I think that inspired me to see how much fun music and entertaining people could be.
If you could turn back time to make only one change, what would you change?
~ I believe my choice would be "to make no choice" as I have truly been blessed throughout my life both musically and with personal relationships. The only change I wish I could make is to slow down time ... it just goes by way too fast !!
What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and...you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ Johan you must be a clairvoyant as you have already asked both questions.... How I became a drummer in a Country Band and How I became a Nashville Producer..... thanks for being the interviewer that did !!
Describe the ultimate recording studio (we are more interested in the facilities than the technique)
~ My enjoyment of recording studios stems from the wonderful studio session pickers who literally amaze singers and producers with their talent every time they appear to perform on a recording. I have enjoyed these top gun session players both in Hollywood and in Nashville. They have become wonderful friends and they perform in many wonderful studio's. So I guess I'd have to say ... it's the people "IN" the studio who really make a recording shine even more than the recording equipment.
Johnny or June? (and tell us the reason behind your choice.)
~ Johnny was the ship and June was the rudder. Both wonderful talents on their own, but as a team they blended into yet a a third demension of music to give everlasting pleasure for their world wide fans.
How do you and Frank influence each other musically.
~ I think when two musically creative people have found their soul mate and the love of their lives in each other ... and have respect for each others talents ... it overlaps in any creative efforts you take on together. It shines through in your finished projects that people see and hear, and that is the essence and reward of music.
What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ Two days actually ... First day of our Nashville session, because it ignited what would become years of memorable musical moments that will live forever ... as I believe music is eternal. Second ... is actually ALL of the days that I have been blessed to be involved in this sometimes crazy, but always wonderful world of music !!
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Answers given on September 6, 2011