PAT BENATAR by Fire & Ice

 

 

 

Artist Scoop from Wikipedia: Pat Benatar was born Patricia Mae Andrzejewski on January 10, 1953 in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York City.[2] Her mother, Mildred (née Knapp), was a beautician, and her father, Andrew Andrzejewski, was a sheet-metal worker.[3] Her father was of Polish descent and her mother was of GermanEnglish, and Irish ancestry.[4] Her family moved to North Hamilton Avenue in Lindenhurst, New York, a village in the Long Island town of Babylon.[5]

Benatar became interested in theater and began voice lessons, singing her first solo at the age of eight, at Daniel Street Elementary School, a song called “It Must Be Spring”.[citation needed] At Lindenhurst Senior High School (1967–1971), she participated in musical theater, playing Queen Guinevere in the school production of Camelot, marching in the homecoming parade, singing at the annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, and performing a solo of “The Christmas Song” on a holiday recording of the Lindenhurst High School Choir her senior year.[citation needed]

Pat Benatar performing live in Sydney, October 22, 2010.

Benatar trained as a coloratura with plans to attend the Juilliard School, but decided instead to pursue health education at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. At 19, after one year at Stony Brook, she dropped out to marry her first husband, high school sweetheart Dennis Benatar, an army draftee who trained at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and then served with the Army Security Agency at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, before being stationed at Fort Lee, Virginia, where he (Specialist (E-4)) was stationed for three years; Pat Benatar worked as a bank teller near Richmond, Virginia.[6]

In 1971, Benatar quit her job to pursue a singing career after being inspired by a Liza Minnelli concert she saw in Richmond. She got a job as a singing waitress at a flapper-esque nightclub named The Roaring Twenties and got a gig singing in the lounge band Coxon’s Army, a regular at Sam Miller’s basement club. The band was the subject of a never-aired PBS special; its bassist Roger Capps was later the original bass player for the Pat Benatar Band. The period also yielded Benatar’s first and only single until her eventual 1979 debut single (taken from the album ‘In the Heat of the Night’ on Chrysalis Records): “Day Gig” (1974), Trace Records, written and produced by Coxon’s Army band leader Phil Coxon and locally released in Richmond.[clarification needed]

In 1975, Benatar performed at an amateur night at the comedy club Catch a Rising Star in New York. Her rendition of Judy Garland‘s “Rock-a-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody” earned her a call back by club owner Rick Newman, who became her manager.[citation needed]

The couple moved to New York following Dennis Benatar’s discharge from the army, and Pat Benatar became a regular member at Catch a Rising Star for the next three years. In 1975 she landed the part of Zephyr in Harry Chapin‘s futuristic rock musical, The Zinger, which ran for a month in 1976 at the Performing Arts Foundation’s (PAF) Playhouse in Huntington StationLong Island.

Halloween 1977 proved a pivotal night in Benatar’s early, spandexed stage persona. She entered a Halloween contest at the Cafe Figaro in Greenwich Village dressed as a character from the film Cat-Women of the Moon. Later that evening, she went onstage at Catch a Rising Star still in costume.[7] Between appearances at Catch a Rising Star, she recorded commercial jingles for Pepsi Cola and a number of regional brands. She headlined New York City’s Tramps nightclub for four days in the spring of 1978, where her performance was heard by representatives from several record companies. She was signed to Chrysalis Records by co-founder Terry Ellis the following week.[8] Pat Benatar and Dennis Benatar divorced shortly after, but she kept his surname.