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Patsy Gallant: the Canadian Queen of Pop (Part 1)

No female artist deserves more the title of “Canadian Queen of Pop” then Patsy Gallant. She is an awesome example of Canadian talent. But although she had her superstar days in the 1970s, her greatness and her list of contributions to pop music remain obscure. Just like most of her music. Between 1972 and 1984, she created and recorded some of the best Canadian groove-based music.

Those who dare to explore Gallant’s discography have a big chance to stand open-mouthed with the quality of her works. Young people wonder why they have never heard about her, while people in their forties and fifties may remember her but have no idea that she did all that. Her huge vocal skills, her unbelievable versatility and her ability to reinvent herself without losing her essence made her be treated like multiple artists, with different personalities and different groups of fans. Add to this a very humble, down-to-earth and hard-working character: in her everyday life, Patsy Gallant is the quintessential “lady next door”.

1977: Patsy Gallant as “The Canadian Disco Queen”, in her superstar days

Of Acadian origin, Patricia Gallant was born in Campbellton (New Brunswick) on August 15, 1948. The fourth child in a family of ten, she grew up perfectly bilingual and started as a child performer. In the early sixties she was performing professionally around Montreal as a member of the teen group “Les soeurs Gallant” (with her older sisters Angeline “Angie”, Ghislaine “Gigi”, and Florine “Flo”).

Les soeurs Gallant in 1965. Patsy is the youngest (in the video, she alternates between the far left and the far right).

In 1966, eighteen-year old Patsy Gallant left the family group and went solo. In the same period, she started a very successful career as a studio vocalist and a jingle singer. She also appeared frequently on Montreal TV shows, singing in English and in French.

July 16, 1966: shortly before leaving Les soeurs Gallant, eighteen-year old Patsy Gallant performs Nino Ferrer’s song “Les cornichons” on the Radio-Canada show Jeunesse oblige.

Until 1971, Gallant would concentrate most of her work on TV, radio and commercials (working often with a group of young Montreal musicians such as Yves Lapierre and Denis Forcier). She recorded a few singles and movie soundtracks in the period, but in such an unfrequent way that the Quebec press lamented the fact that “the best and most talented of our singers is virtually unknown” (La Presse, 1971).

La Presse, September 1971: “Patsy Gallant: the best of our female singers is almost unknown”
Patsy Gallant – “Mister Lewis” (1968)