DJ Timmy Richardson
Member # 60
Born in Buffalo in 1950, Patrick Cowley spent most of his youth growing up in northern New York and working in local rock bands. He studied at the University of Buffalo, with a concentration in English. In 1971, after a major relocation to San Francisco College, Patrick began an intensive study of the synthesizer. Shortly after his studies began, Cowley’s work was noticed by a local musician, Sylvester, who asked Cowley to join him and his band in the studio. Cowley’s synthesizer innovations resulted in the album "Step II." The album made way for the global recognition of Sylvester and gained Patrick a job as a back-up tour musician with the artist and his band. Slowly, Patrick’s work on the synthesizer became synonymous with Sylvester’s sound, and was important in creating hits like "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)," "Dance (Disco Heat)," and "Can’t Stop Dancing."
Though touring with a band kept him far from home, Cowley remained close to the roots of the San Francisco club scene. In 1980 Cowley found kinship with Marty Blecman, a producer/keyboardist who had worked at Fantasy Records, a predominately disco label that dabbled in rock and jazz. The two formed their own label, Megatone Records, in the summer of 1981. Patrick’s first solo hit was the single, "Menegry/I Wanna Take You Home," released on Fusion Records, which hit the disco charts in late October of the same year. In 1982, the first release on Megatone was the single "Megatron Man" and a full-length album of the same name.
Cowley found more success in the '80s with several chart-topping hits. At the time he released "Megatron Man," he also teamed up with the San Francisco singer Paul Parker. Both wrote and produced the dance-oriented single "Right on Target," which hit the disco charts at number one. Patrick found even more chart topping success, teaming up with Sylvester once again to produce the single "Do You Wanna Funk" for Megatone. In 1982 Patrick Cowley produced his final album, "Mind Warp," for Megatone.
In his brief career 1980-1982 he not only produced the items above, but also produced and worked with Loverde, Jo-Lo (formerly known as The Patrick Cowley Singers), Michelle, Hot Posse, and did his legendary remix of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love." An instrumental contributor to the history of the synthesizer in dance music, Partick Cowley’s influence carried far beyond his late-'70s early-'80's prime. Artists including Pet Shop Boys and New Order consider Cowley to be a major musical influence on their work. Cowley explored uncharted territories of synthesizer sounds and instrument programming, long before modern-day music conveniences. His work with the band Sylvester gained him fame and would allow Cowley to have his own glory as a producer, writer, and musician.
Blecman cited Cowley as patching his own programs by hand to create a certain sound that Cowley felt was necessary in order for a track to be complete. Initially founded as a partnership, Megatone Records was incorporated in 1983 and moved to Hollywood, California in 1994. Blecman headed the record label until his death on September 20, 1991. Blecman dedicated 1990's "The Patrick Cowley Collection" to Patrick’s memory. He died of A.I.D.S. on November 12, 1982. He was the first known entertainer to die of the disease. One can only imagine what would have come from the brilliant mind of Patrick in the years to come. In the early 1980's after the disco backlash he single handedly bridged the gap from "disco" to "dance" music. (Discomuseum)
knew what you knew you did what you did...but when you knew better..you did better" Winfrey