Pat Hervey was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. As a child, Pat loved to sing. At age nine, she was a member of her high school choir. Pat sang at school dances and parties accompanied by her girlfriend on guitar. Al Boliska, a very popular Toronto disc jockey, saw her perform at an amateur talent show and hooked her up with CBC-TV. They were so impressed, they made her a regular on four network shows, While You Were Young, Holiday Ranch, Club Six, and Country Hoedown. Just 5′ 3″ tall, Pat has been called the Brenda Lee of Canada.
Art Snider, musical director for the Club Six television show, signed Pat to a recording contract with his Chateau label. Her first hit, Mr Heartache, climbed the 1050 CHUM charts to #14 in June 1962. She made another brief appearance on the charts at #39 with both sides of her next single, A Mother’s Love b/w Heaven For Awhile.
Al Snider had been taking Pat to Nashville to record her sessions, and it was there that legendary Nashville producer Chet Atkins discovered her. He helped her get a recording contract with RCA Victor and produced several singles for her, including today’s New Oldie, which was her biggest hit in Canada, reaching #11 in February 1963 and stayed on the charts for nearly three months.
Here’s Tears of Misery by Pat Hervey on RCA 8135 from 1963:
Pat followed this up with her final chart single, Walking In Bonnie’s Footsteps, which reached #16 on 1050 CHUM in December 1963. Chet Atkins also had her record an album full of new material, none of which every made it on the charts.
She became the featured singer on a very popular Canadian country music variety series called The Tommy Hunter Show. In 1964, Pat also won an award for Top Country Female Artist.
She moved to the Red Leaf label owned by Stan Klees, but never made any more hit singles. None of Pat’s recordings ever appeared on any national charts in the United States, despite getting some regional airplay, mostly in the northern states.
At age 22, Pat moved to Vancouver and temporarily retired from the music business. She came out of retirement for her own Summer television show in 1970, followed by a second album called Peaceful which she recorded in 1971 on RCA’s Camden label. By 1973, Pat was working as a regular musician on the Judy And Jim Show on CBC television across Canada.
Pat married a famous Canadian jazz guitarist named Oliver Gannon and they live in British Columbia. They’ve got a four-piece group called the Oliver Gannon-Patty Hervey Quartet, in which Pat plays bass and sings. They play in jazz venues around Vancouver.
You can hear a couple dozen songs by Pat Hervey on MusicMaster Oldies. What are you waiting for? Tune in, turn on, and drop out!