Kathi McDonald

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Kathryn Marie McDonald (September 25, 1948  – October 3, 2012),[1][2] popularly known as Kathi McDonald, was an American blues and rock singer. She performed with Kathi McDonald & Friends. She appeared on an extensive list of rock and blues albums and toured with Long John Baldry prior to his death. She and Baldry enjoyed pop success in Australia where their duet "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'",[2] reached No. 2 in 1980. She was born in Anacortes, Washington,[2] and resided in the Seattle, Washington state area but had strong San Francisco music connections. In February 2009, she performed at the opening gala for the San Francisco Museum of Performance & Design along with Sam Andrew, welcoming in a new exhibition dedicated to the art and music of San Francisco of the 1965-1975 era.

Early years[edit]

McDonald performed professionally for the first time around Seattle when she was 12 years old. The first song she fully learned was "Goodnight Irene" by Huddie Leadbetter and at age two she would sing all five verses from her crib. She attributes these evenings to the reason for her late night work habits.

In San Francisco[edit]

At the age of 19 she moved to San Francisco and joined Ike & Tina Turner as an Ikette. She then did some work with Big Brother and the Holding Company.[3] In 1973 she recorded Insane Asylum for Capitol Records. The album was co-produced by David Briggs and Pete Sears. It included great musicians such as Guitar: Nils Lofgren, John Cipollina, Neal Schon: Drums: Aynsley Dunbar. Horns: Boots Hughston. Vocal: Kathi McDonald & Sly Stone. The Pointer Sisters on backups. Many famous SF Bay Area musicians played on the album, and Kathi sang backup with many great bands. Sears was also her musical arranger and played keyboards and bass, as well as writing several of the album's songs with McDonald.

Post San Francisco[edit]

McDonald contributed backing vocals to four tracks that appear on The Rolling Stones 1972 release Exile on Main Street, including the hit single "Tumbling Dice".[2] Her album Save Your Breath was released over 20 years after Insane Asylum appeared. Above and Beyond followed in 1999, featuring contributions from Lee Oskar on harmonica and Brian Auger on keyboards. McDonald devoted more than two decades to recording and performing in collaboration with Long John Baldry, and the duo scored with their version of "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" when it was released in Canada.[3] In later years, she also contributed to the Seattle Women in Rhythm and Blues project. She reunited with Big Brother and the Holding Company in California for a concert on New Year's Eve, 1997.[3] She was inducted into the Washington Blues Society's Hall of Fame in 1999.[2]


McDonald died on October 3, 2012, in Seattle, Washington.[1] She was 64.[2]

List of bands[edit]

Here are some groups McDonald was a member of during her career:

  • Brian Blaine
  • Kathi McDonald & Friends[5]
  • Leon Russell and the Shelter People


She has been recorded on the following releases:


  1. ^ a b Cashmere, Paul (October 5, 2012). "Kathi McDonald Dead At 64". noise11.com. Retrieved October 5, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Doc Rock. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 2012 July To December". Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved 2012-11-27. 
  3. ^ a b c Seida, Linda. "allmusic (Kathi McDonald > Biography)". Allmusic. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Big Brother & The Holding Co". Bbhc.com. 2012-01-12. Retrieved 2012-11-27. 
  5. ^ "Kathi McDonald Home Page". Kathimcdonald.com. Retrieved 2012-11-27. 

External links[edit]