Patricia J. "Patty" Donahue would have been 55 today had she not tragically died of lung cancer at the age of 40 in 1996. Patty was the singer of the Akron, Ohio band the Waitresses, best known for their regional hit "I Know What Boys Like" and the holiday classic "Christmas Wrapping". They also recorded the theme song for the television show Square Pegs, though it didn't feature any vocals (no, it did!). The Waitresses had a number of other members who had long careers in music; Billy Ficca who played drums in Television, Chris Butler who holds the Guinness World Record for the longest pop song recording in history and Tom Waits sideman Ralph Carney.

The first Waitresses record, Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful? was originally released in 1982 on the mostly no wave label, ZE Records. It features a ton of great skronky tracks, such as "Pussy Strut" and "Jimmy Tomorrow". There's a heap of videos after the jump.

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Patty left the Waitresses in 1984 and later worked in the A&R department for MCA. She also contributed vocals to the 1982 Alice Cooper LP Zipper Catches Skin. If you ever find yourself in Cleveland, Ohio you can visit her grave in the suburb of Brook Park at the Holy Cross Cemetery.

Patty was known as a heavy smoker for most of her adult life, which probably contributed to her death. Don't smoke cigarettes. It's gross.


Pre-Donahue Waitresses from 1978: