Patrick Adams, soul and disco legend, has died aged 72

The word legend is overused these days, but Patrick Adams was one person whom it very much applied to. Born on St Patrick’s Day in 1950 in New York, his childhood was spent singing in choirs and attending concerts at the Apollo Theater. His father nourished his gift for music by buying him a trumpet – Adams then spent his teenage years playing guitar, writing songs and learning all about song structure.

At the age of just 20, he was appointed the Vice President of the A&R department at Perception Records – it was he who signed Black Ivory and the often-sampled “Mainline”. He also met Leroy Burgess during his time at Perception, with the two set to become lifelong friends. And it’s no exaggeration to say he was central to both the soul and disco scenes.

Artists who he worked with during his life included Candi Staton, Debbie Taylor, Fonda Rae, Gladys Knight, Herbie Mann, Loleatta Holloway, Rick James, The Salsoul Orchestra, Shannon and Sister Sledge. His role was a complex and ever variable combination of production, arrangement and engineering – and many of the records he worked on are still played today.

We shall leave the final word to his aforementioned lifelong friend Leroy Burgess. He posted this beautiful tribute on Facebook today, which we publish in its entirety…

Our condolences go out to his family and friends at this time.

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