Meet Seattle's 'Queen Of Gospel'

Nov 25, 2017

This story originally aired on February 4, 2017.

Pastor Pat Wright can't read music, but she made a hit single as a solo R&B singer, performed for three U.S. presidents including Barack Obama, and sang at Jimi Hendrix's funeral.  

Wright began and continues to direct Seattle's renowned Total Experience Choir. Founded in 1973, the choir has performed for presidents, and toured in 28 countries and 33 states.

She attributes its success to the type of music they perform.

"You can't make old folks out of young people ... your music director has to find music they can identify with," says Wright.

She says if it weren't for the choir, many students would have ended up on the streets.

"I'm glad I'm out of the schools," Wright says, "We had so many parents complaining because it was gospel music, but they should have let their kids stay in because some of them would probably be still living today, 'cuz they got into a lot of junk out there."

Wright talked with "Hella Black Hella" Seattle co-host Eula Scott Bynoe about her career and the impact of the Total Experience Choir on the Northwest community.