#21: Blue Lipstick by Patrician-Anne

City: Halifax, NS
Radio Station: CHNS
Peak Month: December 1965
Peak Position in Halifax ~ #9
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Blue Lipstick

Patrician Anne McKinnon was born in Shiloh, Manitoba, in 1947. had already been singing on the CBC for years — as part of the choir in the 1960s music show Singalong Jubilee (which is where Anne Murray got her start, too). Patrician-Anne — and her better-known sister, the singer and actor Catherine McKinnon — split their time between the East Coast and Toronto.

She was just 16 years old when she recorded “Blue Lipstick”.

Blue Lipstick by Patrician-Anne

“Blue Lipstick” was written for her by the famous songwriter P.F. Sloan. Philip Gary Schlein was born in New York City in 1945. His mom was born in Romania and his dad in the USA. The family moved to West Hollywood when Philip was twelve years old. His father was a pharmacist and had the family name changed legally since Philip’s dad was repeatedly denied a liquor license for his store. The new surname, Sloan, gave Philip’s dad no hassles and the family business thrived. In 1958 Philip was given a guitar as a present. Prior to being drafted into the US Army, Elvis Presley gave Philip Sloan a quick guitar lesson at a music store in Hollywood. By the age of 14 Philip Sloan’s nickname was “Flip,” a variant of Philip. So he became P (Philip) F (Flip) Sloan. At 16, “Flip” Sloan got a position as a songwriter with Screen Gems in Los Angeles. In addition to songwriting, Sloan teamed up with Steve Barri. The pair recorded several records hoping for a hit single. They failed at getting any notice when releasing singles under the names The Lifeguards, Themes Inc., The Rally-Packs and The Wildcats. And they barely registered on the charts in 1964 as Philip and Stephan with “When You’re Near You’re So Far Away”, or as The Street Cleaners with “That’s Cool, That’s Trash”.

Sloan wrote “Eve of Destruction”, “Secret Agent Man” for Johnny Rivers, “Unless You Care” and “Little Liar” for Terry Black, “You Baby” and “Can I Get To Know You Better” for The Turtles, “A Must To Avoid” for Herman’s Hermits and “Where Were You When I Needed You” for the Grass Roots (and produced “Let’s Live For Today” for the Grass Roots).

In the song “Blue Lipstick”, after a break-up, a young woman wears blue lipstick to signal how hurt she feels. She pretends she doesn’t care anymore. But she knows it isn’t true. She thinks she’ll never kiss another boy. If only the guy who broke things off would return to her. Until that elusive occurrence, she’ll keep on wearing blue lipstick.

Arc Records reported “Sloane wrote the song specially for the pretty 17-year-old vocalist, after hearing her via tape, back in May before “Eve of Destruction” started his present winning streak, and now his name practically guarantees close attention from the stations. Patrician-Anne is a regular on “Frank’s Bandstand” of the CBC-TV network’s edition of “Music Hop” so the disc gets national TV exposure.”

Promotional ads for the song effused, “An artist so great, the current Number One writer/performer in the US just wrote a song especially for her. The current wave of P.F. Sloan hits is great publicity for Arc Records new release, “Blue Lipstick” by Patrician-Anne.” In another ad, Arc Records featured both Terry Black and Patrician-Anne on a poster that read “They’re what’s happening baby! Canada’s grooviest teens. Tell the world about these two.”

“Blue Lipstick” peaked at #9 in Halifax (NS).

“Blue Lipstick” would wind up being her biggest hit. Sadly, her career would slow down after she was diagnosed with cancer in the early 1970s. In 1974 the CBC in Nova Scotia released an EP titled “Patrician Anne Halifax Vocalist”. It included four tracks, featuring a cover of the hit “If” by Bread, a song written by Sylvia Tyson, and another track penned by Brent Titcomb, formerly of 3’s A Crowd. According to the Toronto Historical Jukebox, Patrician-Anne released a full-length self-titled album in 1984 and died of Hodgkin’s in 2001.

Adam Bunch, ““Blue Lipstick” by Patrician-Anne,” Toronto Historical Jukebox, 2013.
Patrician Anne McKinnon,” geni.com.
Bruce Webber, “P. F. Sloan, Enigmatic Writer of ’60s Hit ‘Eve of Destruction,’ Dies at 70,” New York Times, November 17, 2015.
Pierre Perrone, “PF Sloan: Songwriter whose Protest Song ‘Eve of Destruction’ Became the Anti-Vietnam War Song Par Excellence,” The Independent, London, UK, November 23, 2015.

Blue Lipstick by Patrician-Anne

CHNS 960-AM Halifax (NS) Top Ten | January 2, 1966

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