Ottilie Patterson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ottilie Patterson
Patterson (& Chris Barber Band), The Netherlands, 14 February 1957
Patterson (& Chris Barber Band), The Netherlands, 14 February 1957
Background information
Birth nameAnna Ottilie Patterson
Born(1932-01-31)31 January 1932
Comber, County Down, Northern Ireland
Died20 June 2011(2011-06-20) (aged 79)
GenresTraditional jazz, blues
InstrumentsPiano, vocals
Years active1955–1983
LabelsDecca, Pye, Columbia
Associated actsChris Barber

Anna Ottilie Patterson (31 January 1932 – 20 June 2011) was a Northern Irish blues singer best known for her performances and recordings with the Chris Barber Jazz Band in the late 1950s and early 1960s.


Ottilie Patterson was born in Comber, County Down, Northern Ireland on 31 January 1932. She was the youngest child of four. Her father, Joseph Patterson, was from Northern Ireland, and her mother, Jūlija Jēgers, was from Latvia. They had met in southern Russia.[1] Ottilie's name is an Anglicised form of the Latvian name "Ottilja".[1] Both sides of the family were musical, and Ottilie trained as a classical pianist from the age of eleven, but never received any formal training as a singer.[2]

In 1949 Patterson went to study art at Belfast College of Technology where a fellow student introduced her to the music of Bessie Smith, Jelly Roll Morton and Meade Lux Lewis.[3] In 1951 she began singing with Jimmy Compton's Jazz Band, and in August 1952 she formed the Muskrat Ramblers with Al Watt and Derek Martin.

In the summer of 1954, while holidaying in London, Patterson met Beryl Bryden, who introduced her to the Chris Barber Jazz Band.[4]

She joined the Barber band full-time on 28 December 1954,[1] and her first public appearance was at the Royal Festival Hall on 9 January 1955.[5] Between 1955 and 1962 Ottilie toured extensively with the Chris Barber Jazz Band and issued many recordings: those featuring her on every track include the EPs Blues (1955), That Patterson Girl (1955), That Patterson Girl Volume 2 (1956), Ottilie (1959), and the LP Chris Barber's Blues Book (1961); she also appeared on numerous Chris Barber records.

She and Barber were married in 1959.[1] They divorced in 1983.[1]

From approximately 1963 she began to suffer throat problems and ceased to appear and record regularly with Chris Barber, officially retiring from the band in 1973. During this period she recorded some non-jazz/blues material such as settings of Shakespeare (with Chris Barber) and in 1969 issued a solo LP 3000 years with Ottilie which is now much sought after by collectors.

In 1964, she sang the theme tune for the British horror film, 'Where has Poor Mickey Gone', starring Warren Mitchell.

In early 1983 she and Barber gave a series of concerts around London, which were recorded for the LP Madame Blues and Doctor Jazz (1984). This is her most recently issued recording.

Patterson is buried in Movilla Abbey Cemetery, Newtownards, Northern Ireland in the Patterson family grave. Her gravestone, marked Ottilia Anna Barber, is immediately by the left hand wall adjacent to the car park.

In February 2012 a plaque marking her birthplace in a terraced house in Comber was unveiled, and the same evening a sell-out musical tribute was performed at the La Mon Hotel in Comber.


Solo albums[edit]

  • That Patterson Girl (Jazz Today, 1955)
  • That Patterson Girl Volume 2 (Pye, 1956)
  • Blues (Decca, 1956)
  • Ottilie's Irish Night (Pye, 1959)
  • Ottilie (Columbia, 1960)
  • 3000 Years with Ottilie (Marmalade, 1969)
  • Spring Song (Polydor, 1971)
  • Madame Blues and Doctor Jazz (Black Lion, 1984)
  • Ottilie Swings the Irish (Columbia, 1960)

With Chris Barber

  • Chris Barber Plays (Jazz Today, 1955)
  • Echoes of Harlem (Pye Nixa, 1955)
  • Chris Barber in Concert (Pye Nixa, 1957)
  • Chris Barber Plays Volume Four (Pye Nixa, 1957)
  • Chris Barber in Concert Volume Two (Pye Nixa, 1958)
  • Chris Barber in Concert Volume Three (Pye Nixa, 1958)
  • Chris Barber Band Box Volume One (Columbia, 1959)
  • Barber in Berlin (Columbia, 1960)
  • Chris Barber's Blues Book Volume One (Columbia, 1961)
  • Chris Barber at the London Palladium (Columbia, 1961)
  • Best Yet! Chris Barber Band Box – Volume Three (Columbia, 1962)
  • Chris Barber Jazz Band (Qualiton, 1962)
  • Chris Barber's Jazz Band in Prague (Supraphon, 1963)
  • Folk Barber Style (Decca, 1965)
  • Good Mornin' Blues (Columbia, 1965)
  • Chris Barber V Praze (Panton, 1971)
  • The Chris Barber Jubilee Album 1 (Black Lion, 1975)
  • The Chris Barber Jubilee Album 2 (Black Lion, 1975)
  • The Chris Barber Jubilee Album 3 (Black Lion, 1975)
  • Ottilie Patterson with Chris Barber's Jazzband 1955–1958 (1993)
  • Madame Blues & Doctor Jazz (1994)
  • 40 Years Jubilee (Timeless, 1994)
  • The Chris Barber Concerts (1995)
  • Chris Barber's Blues Book Volume One/Good Mornin' Blues (BGO, 1997)
  • Echoes of Harlem/Sonny, Brownie and Chris (1997)
  • Back in the Old Days (1999)
  • Ottilie Patterson with Chris Barber (Jazz Colours, 2000)
  • Chris Barber at the BBC (Upbeat, 2000)
  • Chris Barber's Jazz Band With Special Guest Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Lake, 2000)
  • Irish Favourites (Pulse, 2001)
  • The Best of Chris Barber's Jazz Band (EMI, 2002)
  • In Barber's Chair (Lake, 2003)
  • Bandbox No. 1 (Lake, 2004)
  • The Nixa Jazz Today Albums (Sanctuary, 2004)
  • International Concerts: Berlin, Copenhagen, London (Lake, 2005)
  • Best Yet! (Lake, 2005)
  • The Complete Decca Sessions 1954/55 (Lake, 2006)
  • Chris Barber 1955 (Lake, 2006)
  • Folk Barber Style (Vocalion, 2006)
  • That Patterson Girl (Lake, 2007)
  • Chris Barber 1956 (Lake, 2007)


The principal source for this discography is Bielderman and Purser's Chris Barber discography.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Ottilie Patterson – Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph. London. 15 July 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  2. ^ 3000 years with Ottilie sleeve notes, Marmalade 608 011, 1969
  3. ^ Irish Folk, Trad & Blues – A Secret History, Colin Harper & Trevor Hodgett, 2005 ISBN 1-901447-40-5, p159
  4. ^ Chris Barber's Blues Book – Volume One sleeve notes, Columbia 33SX 1333, 1961
  5. ^ Vacher, Peter (8 July 2011). "Ottilie Patterson obituary". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  6. ^ A Life in Music: Chris Barber discography 1949–2001, Gerard Bielderman & Julian Purser, published by Gerard Bielderman, December 2001

External links[edit]