Who Remembers Pat Dailey? The Man, The Myth, The Put-in-Bay Legend!
If you have ever been to Put-in-Bay chances are you have either heard of or have been fortunate enough to experience the music of Patrick Huston Dailey. Born in Omaha Nebraska March 4, 1941., he was the second son of Tom and Bobbie Dailey, brothers Michael (eldest) Dennis, and Terry made up the Dailey family.
Pat Dailey The Early Years
Pat was raised in Kirkwood, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. In high school, Pat performed in a band called “Pat and the K-Tones.” They were popular at sock-hops and Teen Towns in the area. While stationed in Hawaii in 1960, he opened for the “Legendary Don Ho.” After his tour of duty was completed, he began a wanderlust lifestyle that is still in his blood today.
Pat Dailey has traveled all over the United States, singing and loving every moment of it. In 1969 Patrick Huston Dailey was making quite a life; he was a full-time entertainer, using Chicago’s Shipwreck Kelly’s as a base between his road gigs. Steamboat Springs, Sun Valley, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Seattle, and Tucson were all regular stops. Eventually, he settled in Marin County, just north of San Francisco. He lived on a sailboat and used the Tar and Feathers Saloon in San Francisco as a base, still playing the ski resorts and living on the road.
Pat Dailey The Put-in-Bay Era
In 1977 he wound up in Cleveland, Ohio. A friend of his set him up at the Hairy Buffalo, a famous west side club, and Pat packed the place. Soon a larger venue, Bobby McGee’s, came calling, Pat Dailey went, and the crowds followed. Friends had told Pat about a popular summer resort on South Bass Island in Lake Erie, a tourist village named Put-in-Bay, Ohio.
Although he had never heard of the place, it would dramatically change his and thousands of others’ lives. Pat Dailey first took the stage of the popular Beer Barrel Saloon in the summer of 1978 for a weekend gig; instincts told him there was magic in the place. In the Summer of 1979, he was booked the entire season and had been packing the place every summer since. The Beer Barrel burned to the ground in 1988 and was rebuilt in time for the 1989 season.
It went into the Guinness Book of Records, billed as “The World’s Longest Bar.” The new venue had a capacity of 3500 people. Pat Was still filling the place and continued to do so until the 2007 season when Pat decided to move his show to a more fan-friendly venue, an intimate club.
Moving just down the street, The Boathouse Bar and Grill is a nautical-themed club ideally suited to Pat Dailey’s songs of life on the water. Playing a regular steady gig inspired Pat to write more of his own songs about what he enjoyed most: fishing, boating, and having a real good time. The songs flowing from his mellifluous mind would become popular today with thousands of tourists throughout the Great Lakes, into Lower Canada, and all over the North Coast for years to come.
The first of many fun-loving and often-poignant songs Pat Dailey wrote was his Island signature song, “Put-in-Bay.” Others followed; “Legend of the Lake,” “Island Fever,” “Big Money Walleye”, and so many more.
Pat Dailey & Key West!
In 1984, Pat gave Key West Florida and the famed old Hemingway hangout, Sloppy Joe’s Bar, a sample of the sounds of “The coolest SOB in The World”; (a moniker some fans had hung him with) Enormous nightly crowds of college students and tourists from the world over took to Pat Dailey immediately. He is still packing the place, sometimes ten deep outside on Greene Street because of a lack of space.
It was in the first season in Key West that Pat met the world-famous poet, songwriter, and playwright Shel Silverstein. Shel, a Key West winter resident, caught Pat’s act, introducing himself and suggested a songwriting collaboration that continued for fifteen years until Shel’s untimely death in May 1999.
According to the Put-in-Bay Tourist Information Center, they say still to this day, people ask about the now-retired Rock God of Put-in-Bay, and on a rare occasion, a Pat Dailey sighting is reported.
Thankfully, Pat Dailey’s songs are still heard on the island.