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 Frank Patterson

Frank Patterson

Birth
Clonmel, County Tipperary, Ireland
Death 10 Jun 2000 (aged 61)
Manhattan Beach, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Burial Clonmel, County Tipperary, Ireland
Memorial ID 10184 · View Source
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Singer. He was born in Clonmel, Tipperary County, Ireland. With an excellent vocal voice noticed while in the first grade, Frank Patterson grew up singing in the local Catholic Church choir and then as a teen formed a local group, the Wren Boys. He quit school to work in his mother's print shop but realizing his ambition was to sing, enrolled at the National Academy of Theater and Allied Arts in Dublin. After two years, he entered competition at Ireland's national music festival, the Feis Ceoil, winning all the major awards. He was now in demand for classical recitals around Ireland. While in Paris, he appeared in a radio broadcast which caught the attention of the Philips Record Company and given a contract. His early work was primarily in the classical mode. With the passing of time, he turned towards pop, with an emphasis on traditional Irish ballads. He often appeared with his wife, Eily O' Grady, who accompanied him on the piano. Frank Patterson went on to record 36 albums in six languages, covering opera, inspirational songs and Irish ballads. He moved to America making his home in rural Winchester County, New York and found the streets paved with gold. His career spanned three decades encompassing the stage, TV and the movies. Patterson sang on some of the world's most famous stages and settings, including the Royal Albert Hall in London, Carnegie Hall in New York and was invited to perform at the White House twice at the request of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. His greatest outdoor American performance was at the steps of the Capitol in Washington performing with the National Symphony before an audience of 60,000. The highlight of his career came in 1979 singing in Phoenix Park, Dublin before over a million people and an estimated TV audience of 100 million during the Pope's visit to Ireland. His last performance was at Regis College in Boston. Cardinal O'Connor in his personal funeral plan requested that Frank Patterson sing "Ave Maria" at his funeral. He had undergone several operations in the past year following discovery of a brain tumor but had stabilized. However, the tenor became ill and canceled on the morning of the funeral. He lapsed into a coma and died at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center at age 61. His remains were flown to Ireland where a funeral mass was celebrated by Cardinal Desmond Connel at Dublin's St Mary's Pro Cathedral. When his funeral cortege arrived in Clonmel for burial, thousands of people lined the streets to pay tribute to Tipperary's most famous musical ambassador as he was taken to St Patrick's Cemetery. He was interred in the family plot. During his lifetime, he received many awards: The Knighthood of Saint Gregory, the highest honor the Vatican can confer on a layman, The 2000 Norman Vincent Peal Award for Positive Thinking in Arts, the gold medal of the Eire Society of Boston and an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Manhattan College of New York. A more physical honor was accorded with the erection of "The Golden Tenor Statue" in his hometown of Clonmel, Ireland. The bronze life-size sculpture was created by American Texan Jerry McKenna.

Bio by: Donald Greyfield


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 27 Jun 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10184
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Frank Patterson (5 Oct 1938–10 Jun 2000), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10184, citing Saint Patrick's Cemetery, Clonmel, County Tipperary, Ireland ; Maintained by Find A Grave .