Estus and Lester, the Patterson Twins were born in Magee, MS on December 9 1946 into a musical household and grew up singing in church as members of the Southern Sons quartet and at school. They moved into the secular music biz proper part time to start with but got a record deal courtesy of that mysterious music man from Greenville, MS, Henry Reginald Hines.

e cut them on a 45 which he put out on his Big Beat label crediting the guys as the Soul Twins – not to be confused with the more famous Detroit duo. Both sides of this very rare disc were uptempo dance numbers featuring a funky little back beat. Perhaps the better song was If It’s Something You Got And It’s Worth Having Hold On To It as the flip is a bit derivative being mostly a recitation of current dance hit titles. You need to ignore the out of tune horns (a Hines speciality) and concentrate on the excellent duo singing from the Pattersons who do sound young.

After this start Estus and Lester went to Star Fox Enterprises in Nashville, owned and operated by writer / singer / producer Troy Shondell. He took them to Muscle Shoals Sound where they recorded several tracks that he leased out to King and Ronn. The first King release featured a jaunty little George Jackson / Raymond Moore number called “If I Ever Get You Back” which was a fine southern soul piece with the some great duet vocals. The flip was a strong southern groover “I Got Some Problems”.

The second King 45 was a big improvement. ListenBack In Love Again is a superb slowie with an insidious hookline – a track rightly a huge favourite with deep fans. The other side “Come To Me” doesn’t quite reach those heights but is a strong slab of country soul all the same. An excellent double sided release.

The Ronn single coupled the uptempo  self-penned “To Be Lonely” which is rather spoilt by an intrusive set of background vocals with the tuneful stop go dance tune “Looking For A Lover”. This was followed by what turned out to be a one-off for Malaco where they were brought under the auspices of veteran promo man Dave Clark. The single 45, the top side of which was the first class modern dancer “I Need Your Love” written by Prince Phillip Mitchell and a splendid slow flip ListenTwo Wrongs Don’t Make A Right which was also cut by Z Z Hill. This excellent track should be far better appreciated than it currently is – but sadly the 45 is now a rare one on the label as sales were poor..

Another one – off this time on the actual Star Fox imprint – now with a Fort Wayne, IN address came next. This was a reissue of the wonderful “Back In Love Again” coupled with a previously unissued track from the Twins early MSS sessions called "Good Thing" whose mid paced chugging beat brought out the best in their vocals – you got to love those Joe Tex “ha ha” interjections.

Sadly this single didn’t sell widely either, but the Twins kept plugging away, recording a now heavily in demand LP for Commercial under the direction of Troy Shondell. Many of the tracks suffer from the dreaded disco beat and arrangements but there are enough good points to make this an interesting effort. First of all there is a refugee from the earlier Muscle Shoals sessions and the Star Fox 45, “A Good Thing” and secondly there is a new top class ballad ListenHe’s A Loser. But the songs chosen for the 45s don’t stir my blood. “Funk Machine” is as bad as it sounds like it might be and the flip was a rather undistinguished “You Give Me Someone To Love” with some dreadfully out of place rock guitar. But the next release - now in heavy demand from the dancers – was a stripped down version of “Gonna Find A True Love” whose heavy disco rhythm leaves me stone cold. The flip “Let Me Be A Lover” is sadly even worse.

There was then a hiatus in the Twins recordings until the start of the 80s after they had relocated to the West Coast where they set up their Kon-Kord label, one of the better features of that decades “indie” revolution. Their initial effort “New Wave” was heavily into the synth fashion and – to me – unlistenable. Their first Kon-Kord release was the syndrums heaven dancer “They’re Playing Our Song On The Radio” – which sadly didn’t get the airplay the title demanded.

They recorded a new CD with producer Hence Powell “If I Could Live My Life Again” in 2006 on which the synths are relatively restrained I’m pleased to report. And although this set doesn’t have the cache of the Commercial set it is in reality a much more balanced and enjoyable listening experience. The title track is a fine song with the guys in good voice and which even features a real saxophone! The best tracks are the island sounding mid pacer “Come To Me” and the sets only proper ballad “I Love You So”. After this the Twins went back to their earliest influences and recorded only gospel tracks which takes them out of the orbit of this feature.

But the Kon-Kord label went from strength to strength with their recordings of other artists. Not many really big hits to be sure but some notable artistic highlights. Artists like H L Lincoln, Topaz and Gary Boyd all made strong 45s or 12” discs and a fine CD by North Carolina’s Charlie Jones is also well worth checking out. But the pick of the bunch must the recordings by Queen Isabella who brought an old style blues influence into the mix – almost like a latter day Big Maybelle – and whose “love triangle” songs sounded right in the old school pocket.

So the Twins never had that really big national success unfortunately but in that strange sub world of male duos Estus and Lester hold an honourable reputation – fully deserved in my view.





ListenIt's Something You've Got And It's Worthwhile Having, Hold On To It / Come On Everybody Get With The Beat, Let Me Take You To Soul City U. S. A. ~ BIG BEAT 113-1287 (1972)
If I ever get you back / I got some problems ~ KING 6407 (1973)
ListenBack in love again / Come to me ~KING 6422 (1973)
To be lonely / Looking for a lover ~ RONN 84 (1975)
I need your love / ListenTwo wrongs don’t make it right ~ MALACO 1036 (1976)
Back in love again / A good thing ~ STAR FOX 77-6 (1976)
Funk machine / You give me someone to love ~ COMMERCIAL 00035 (1978)
Gonna find a true love / Let me be your lover ~ COMMERCIAL 00042 (1978)
New wave / same ~ MONTAGE 9719 (1981)
They’re playing our song on the radio / Pt 2 ~ KON-KORD 10002 (1984)


Let me be your lover ~ COMMERCIAL A784 (1978)


If I could live my life again ~ HP MUSIC PRODUCTIONS 0601 (2006)


Note – secular releases only


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