The Waitresses

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The Waitresses
Origin Akron, Ohio, United States
Genres New wave, post-punk
Years active 1978–84
Labels ZE Records, Polydor, Omnivore
Associated acts Tin Huey
Past members Chris Butler
Patty Donahue
Billy Ficca
Dan Klayman
Mars Williams
Dave Hofstra
Ariel Warner
Tracy Wormworth
Ralph Carney
Holly Beth Vincent

The Waitresses were an experimental post-punk band from Akron, Ohio.[1][2] The group was led by guitarist/songwriter Chris Butler with lead vocals performed by Patty Donahue.[1][3]


They had minor success in the United States with the song "I Know What Boys Like", from their 1982 debut album Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful.[3] The song was originally released by the band as a single on Antilles Records in 1980, but did not chart.[4][5] It became an underground hit, and when re-released in 1982, it peaked at No. 62 on the Billboard Hot 100,[6] No. 23 on Billboard's Top Tracks chart,[7] No. 14 on the Australian Singles Chart (Kent Music Report),[5] and also charted in the UK.[2]

The Waitresses also recorded the theme song to the television program Square Pegs,[3][8] which aired during the 1982–83 season.[9] (The band appeared as themselves in the pilot episode.)[9] Their Christmas song "Christmas Wrapping" was originally released on the ZE Records album A Christmas Record in 1981,[1] and became a No. 45 hit in the United Kingdom in 1982.[3][10] The song was subsequently covered by the Spice Girls in 1998, as the B-side of their single "Goodbye"[1][11] and by the television show Glee sung by the character Brittany for their 2011 Christmas special.[12][12][13]

The group released two albums, Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful and Bruiseology, and one EP, I Could Rule the World If I Could Only Get the Parts.[1] For many years, none of these was easily available on CD, but that was rectified by 2013's Just Desserts: The Complete Waitresses, which collects virtually all of the band's recordings for Polygram.[14]

The band's lead singer Patty Donahue left in summer 1984 and was briefly replaced by Holly Beth Vincent. Vincent left the band two weeks later and Donahue returned.[2][3] The band finally split up in late 1984 after the departures of Carney and Klayman.

Donahue died of lung cancer at the age of 40 on December 9, 1996.[3]



Released Title Chart positions
1982 Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful? 41 Polydor
I Could Rule the World If I Could Only Get the Parts EP 128
1983 Bruiseology 155
1984 Make the Weather EP
1990 The Best of The Waitresses
1997 King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents The Waitresses King Biscuit
2003 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of The Waitresses Polydor
2007 Your Choice of Sides − A Collection of Outtakes & Obscuriosities Unreleased[15]
2013 Just Desserts: The Complete Waitresses Omnivore[14]


Year Title Peak chart positions Album
1978 In "Short Stack" ("Slide" / "Clones") single
1980 "I Know What Boys Like" / "No Guilt" single[4]
1981 "Christmas Wrapping" A Christmas Record
1982 "I Know What Boys Like" 62 Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful?
"Square Pegs" I Could Rule the World If I Could Only Get the Parts
"Christmas Wrapping" 45 A Christmas Record
1983 "Make the Weather" Bruiseology

Principal band members[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Huey, Steve. "The Waitresses: Biography". All Music Guide. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Moore, Christie (October 30, 2006). ""W: The Waitresses"". The Unultimate Rockopedia. AuthorHouse. p. 408. ISBN 1-425964-74-5. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Talevski, Nick (August 1, 2006). "Patti Donahue". Knocking on Heaven's Door: Rock Obituaries. Omnibus Press. p. 137. ISBN 1-846090-91-1. Retrieved October 25, 2012.  Source states The Waitresses were based in Kent, Ohio, rather than Akron.
  4. ^ a b Popoff, Martin (September 2, 2010). Goldmine Standard Catalog of American Records 1948-1991. Krause. p. 1233. ISBN 1-440216-21-5. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Top Album Picks: First Time Around". Billboard 94 (5): 71. February 6, 1982. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved October 25, 2012.  "The self-made single, 'I Know What Boys Like', has been a New York club favorite for a couple of years now..." (emphasis added).
  6. ^ "Hot 100: Week of June 5, 1982". June 12, 1982. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Billboard Rock Albums & Top Tracks". Billboard 94 (8): 24. February 27, 2012. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Waitresses, The – I Could Rule The World If I Could Only Get the Parts". Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "The Waitresses". Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  10. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 589. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  11. ^ "100 Hot Holiday Songs". Retrieved March 29, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "'Glee' Extraordinary Merry Christmas (2011)". IMDb. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  13. ^ Votta, Rae (December 14, 2011). "'Glee' Recap: Anything But a Silent Night". Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b Jeffries, David. "Just Desserts: The Complete Waitresses". Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  15. ^ "Your Choice of Sides − A Collection of Outtakes & Obscuriosities". Retrieved 2012-10-25. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]