Gathright Preserving Heritage

By: Jason Simpson
By: Jason Simpson

Patrice Moncell, known better around Meridian as Patrice Gathright, is described as a vocalist of enormous God-given talent, a supersonic force of Blues, Soul, Gospel and Jazz. She's definitely made a name for herself, her town, and her state.

"When I was a kid I didn't know how to control it. So every time I opened my mouth it was like Wow! It was loud," Gathright said. "But I loved singing and I can't remember a time when I haven't."

From singing in clubs in Jackson to Hollywood, Patrice has tried to use her talents, not to make a name for herself, but to preserve her heritage.

"My success is not based on the wealth, which has not come, but it's based on leaving a legacy. That's what I want my life to be and that's what I hope it is," Gathright said.

"The Last of the Mississippi Jukes" is the new documentary that will premiere on Black Starz this Sunday at 7:00 p.m.

Patrice said the film, like her career objectives, is to help preserve Mississippi's past by drawing attention to historic sites like the Summers Hotel and the Subway Club in Jackson, a place where she still sings regularly. She has two songs on the soundtrack, including "Stormy Monday" recoded with the House Rockers, all of Meridian.

"And they're getting ready to restore it. And I'm looking forward to that day when it's complete," said Gathright. "But the film is based on preserving places like that. Morgan Freeman's club, Ground Zero, is based on that."

Patrice said she believes that a person has an unlimited potential, but it takes work. Her life has been spent working hard so that she could finally reach her dreams.


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