To Northern soul (and modern soul) fans, she was a national recording artist, produced by Curtis Mayfield... with two very collectable 45s.
To fans of the theatre, she was the star of "Purlie" -- the young lady who filled Melba Moore's shoes -- and later, the star of "Bubbling Brown Sugar".
For folks who frequented the nightclubs in Sunny Isles and Miami Beach, she was a terrific singer and performer. Patti Jo started out with the Gospel Jazz Singers (semi-regulars at the Castaways), and also sang with her ex-boyfriend Barry Smith in "PJ Smith & Company". She also worked as a solo artist for many years.
Patti grew up in DeLand, but moved to Miami while in her teens. She competed in talent shows, and got the attention of WMBM radio.
Patti moved back to DeLand in the 80s, and continued to perform with her husband, singer Edwin Butler (who'd previously been with the Prolifics). Her death got no national play, which is sad. Patti, who starred on Broadway and appeared on all the major talk shows in the 70s (Mike Douglas Merv Griffin, David Frost) deserved better.