Pat McCaskey is a folk singer of the old school. He sings traditional tunes, love songs, ballads, and just about anything else that he likes and thinks others will like as well. Music and singing have been a part of Pat McCaskey's life since his earliest memories. Pat's father was one of the world's foremost professional harmonica players (working under the stage name of Stagg McMann). His early folk music influences were those acts his father worked with while the house emcee at the 'Hungry i' in San Francisco. Pat grew up listening to, and trying to emulate, the 'Limelighters', 'Peter, Paul & Mary', 'The Kingston Trio', 'Stan Wilson' and many, many, others. It was an interesting and stimulating environment. Pat's first professional show came as a surprise. He was a junior in high school and had been singing around school with a couple of seniors (Terry Ross and Gary Cartwright). One day Terry told him that they had a job at a local club, the 'Monkey Room' in Hayward. It paid $75.00! That was a lot of money for 1961. The group called themselves the 'Weekenders'. It should have been spelled weakenders. They were just horrible with their covers of then popular groups. The good outcome, however, was that Pat and Terry continued to work on their newfound craft, and 'Pat & Terry' was born. For the next eight months the duo improved and sang wherever anybody would lend them an ear. If they got paid, it was even better. These efforts included small coffee houses and various house concerts throughout the San Francisco bay area. Terry, however, left for the University of Washington. The initial plans were for Pat to follow the next year. It didn't happen. Pat was now a solo act. During the years from 1964 through 1967 Pat sang at every coffee house and every hootenanny in the south central Pennsylvania area that he could find. Audiences ranged from about ten, at a show at Immaculata College, to about three thousand at Longs Park in Lancaster. He sang in contests, at birthday parties, at restaurants, and yes even at a Moose Hall in Danbury, PA, (through a local booking agent). His last show during this period was at a church coffee house in San Antonio, Texas, while stationed at Fort Sam Houston. He returned to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in the late fall of 1967 and took up his professional life as a bank management trainee. Singing was just not compatible with being a banker. In 1979, after returning to graduate school to earn his masters and Ph.D. degrees Pat relocated to the Boston area. As a professor he could once again sing in front of people without jeopardizing his career. After about six months of practice, he started out small, singing at the 'Sword & Stone' on Beacon Hill, and then the 'Nameless Coffeehouse' in Cambridge. Things were going well until a serious accident stopped it all. Two surgeries and 101 stitches followed, but after six months of recovery he found that, due to nerve damage, he could no longer play the guitar. Flash forward to the summer of 2002. Pat's back in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, teaching at Millersville University and an old friend from college days says, 'Why don't you start singing again?' After years of use his fingers had developed new nerve pathways and it was possible to 'relearn' how to play the guitar. It took about a year, but it ends up that he plays much better now than he ever did. A new guitar (steel strings for the first time) was purchased and Pat McCaskey was back on stage again. However, it is the new, improved version! This time he plans on moving forward with his singing until he drops. Still singing after all these years...
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