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Kathryn Marie McDonald (September 25, 1948 – October 3, 2012), popularly known as Kathi McDonald, was an American blues and rock singer. She performed with Kathi McDonald & Friends. She appeared on an extensive list of rock and blues albums and toured with Long John Baldry prior to his death. She and Baldry enjoyed pop success in Australia where their duet "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", reached No. 2 in 1980. She was born in Anacortes, Washington, and resided in the Seattle, Washington state area but had strong San Francisco music connections. In February 2009, she performed at the opening gala for the San Francisco Museum of Performance & Design along with Sam Andrew, welcoming in a new exhibition dedicated to the art and music of San Francisco of the 1965-1975 era.
McDonald performed professionally for the first time around Seattle when she was 12 years old. The first song she fully learned was "Goodnight Irene" by Huddie Leadbetter and at age two she would sing all five verses from her crib. She attributes these evenings to the reason for her late night work habits.
In San Francisco
At the age of 19 she moved to San Francisco and joined Ike & Tina Turner as an Ikette. She then did some work with Big Brother and the Holding Company. In 1972 she recorded Insane Asylum for Capitol Records. The album was co-produced by David Briggs and Pete Sears. Sears was also her musical arranger and played keyboards and bass, as well as writing several of the album's songs with McDonald.
Post San Francisco
McDonald contributed backing vocals to four tracks that appear on The Rolling Stones 1972 release Exile on Main Street, including the hit single "Tumbling Dice". Her album Save Your Breath was released over 20 years after Insane Asylum appeared. Above and Beyond followed in 1999, featuring contributions from Lee Oskar on harmonica and Brian Auger on keyboards. McDonald devoted more than two decades to recording and performing in collaboration with Long John Baldry, and the duo scored with their version of "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" when it was released in Canada. In later years, she also contributed to the Seattle Women in Rhythm and Blues project. She reunited with Big Brother and the Holding Company in California for a concert on New Year's Eve, 1997. She was inducted into the Washington Blues Society's Hall of Fame in 1999.
McDonald often performed with the Chicago blues guitarist Rich Kirch who for 17 years played lead guitar for John Lee Hooker's band until June 21, 2002 when John Lee crossed over. (An auspicious day – Summer Solstice and full solar eclipse over Africa). Kathi and Rich had recently cut the album "Nothin But Trouble" in 2012.
Kathi also performed with her own band "Kathi MacDonald and Friends", as well as with other arrangements in the Seattle area.