HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Patrick Huston Dailey was born in Omaha Nebraska March 4, 1941. The second son of Tom and Bobbie Dailey, brothers Michael (eldest) Dennis and Terry made up the Dailey family. He was raised in Kirkwood Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Pat formed a band in high school, “Pat and the K-Tones.” They played all the sock-hops and Teen Town’s in the area. Fresh in music, playing cover tunes while accompanying himself on a six string acoustic guitar. While stationed in Hawaii in 1960 he was fortunate enough to open for the “Legendary Don Ho.” After completing his tour of duty he mustered out and began a wanderlust lifestyle that is still in his blood today. Pat Dailey traveled all over the USA, singing and loving every moment of it. In 1969 Patrick Huston Dailey was making quite a life; he was a full time entertainer, using Chicago’s Shipwreck Kelly’s as a base between road gigs. Sun Valley was a regular stop, as was Steamboat Springs, Las Vegas, Seattle, Phoenix, and Tucson, he would eventually settle down in Marin County, north of San Francisco, living on a sail boat and using the Tar and Feathers Saloon in San Francisco as a base, still playing the ski resorts and living on the road.
He made his way to Cleveland, Ohio in 1977. The seasonal road musician had heard the Great Lakes area was teeming with people who enjoyed a good time. A pal of his set him up at the Hairy Buffalo, a popular west side club, and Pat packed the place. Soon a larger venue, Bobby McGee’s came calling, Pat went, and the crowds followed. Friends had told Pat about a popular summer resort on South Bass Island in Lake Erie, a tourist village named Put-in-Bay, Ohio. Although he had never heard of the place it would change his life dramatically. Pat took the stage of the popular Beer Barrel Saloon in the summer of 1978 for a weekend gig, instincts told him the their was magic in the place. He played the full summer in 1979 and has been packing the place every summer since. The Beer Barrel burned to the ground in 1988 and was rebuilt in time for the 1989 season. It went into the Guinness Book of Records as “The World’s Longest Bar.” Now with crowd capacity at 3500 people Pat Was still filling the place and continued to do so until the 2007 season when Pat decided to move his show to a more fan friendly venue, intimate club, The Boathouse Bar and Grill just a block south of the Jet Express docks. The Boathouse is a nautical themed club perfectly suited to Pat Dailey’s songs of life on the water. Playing a regular steady gig inspired pat to write his own songs about the things he enjoyed most in his life, fishing, boating, and having a real good time. The songs that would flow from his mellifluous mind would become and remain popular with thousands of tourists throughout the Great Lakes, into Lower Canada and all over the North Coast for years to come.
The first of many fun loving and often-poignant songs written by Pat Dailey was his Island signature song, “Put-in-Bay”, others followed; “Legend of the Lake”, “Island Fever”, “Big Money Walleye”, and many more.
In the winter of 1984, Pat gave Key West Florida and the famed old Hemingway hangout, Sloppy Joe’s Bar a taste of the sounds of “The coolest SOB in The World”; (a moniker some fans had hung him with) The enormous nightly crowds of college students and tourists from the world over took to Pat Dailey immediately. He is still packing the place, sometimes ten deep outside on Greene Street because of lack of space.
It was in the first season in Key West that Pat met the world famous poet, songwriter, playwright Shel Silverstein. Shel, a Key West winter resident, caught Pat’s act, introducing himself and suggested a song writing collaboration that continued for fifteen years until Shel’s untimely death in May 1999.
Pat was overwhelmed by his good fortune to be working alongside Shel with his renowned reputation in the literary world as well as Nashville; having written “A Boy Named Sue” for Johnny Cash, “The Unicorn Song” for The Irish Rover’s, and most of Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show hits. Together Pat and Shel co-wrote “The Great Lakes Song” (A tune that is used by many schools to teach the children the names of the lakes.) “Blue Catawaba Moon”, “On the Water” (Which won them a Telly for a TV Commercial Soundtrack), “Walleye Willie”, “Vermillion”,”Ugly Feet”, and many more.
The two had become great friends and visited one of another’s homes in the north. During the summer months Shel would visit Put-in-Bay, in the fall Pat and his wife Anne would visit Shel in New York or on Martha’s Vineyard. As the years went by, Pat and Shel decided to work on a children’s album. They went into Woodland Studios in Nashville in 1998 and recorded 17 of Shel’s favorite water themed songs and Shel produced Pat singing the tunes, sometimes joining in on the fun. It sat in the can for quite some time after Shel passed away, Pat was too devastated by the loss of his friend to continue with the project.
As time passed Pat decided the songs should be released and with the help of friends and Shel’s estate finally got “Underwater Land” out of the archives and onto CD where the world can enjoy the chicanery of Shel Silverstein and his longtime friend and collaborator Pat Dailey. Underwater Land is in stores everywhere; it can also be purchased here at patdailey.com.