Soul Sisters is a musical-biography about two legendary artists Patti Henley and Brenda Lee Eager who not only had amazing musical careers but did important work in the civil rights movement. Their journey together began at Operation Breadbasket in the 1960s and continues today in classrooms and concert stages around the world.

Soul Sisters tells the story of how two talented black women used their musical talent to help promote social change.  Patti Henley and Brenda Lee Eager have written and performed with Prince, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Ray Charles and more.  But before they achieved mainstream attention world-wide, in 1969 they were hand-picked by Jesse Jackson to become part of the musical voice of the entire Civil Rights movement through Operation Breadbasket. Known as the Piperettes of Freedom, Patti, Brenda and singers Lois Scott and Sue Conway promoted job and racial equality and even helped get the first African American mayors elected in America. Today, on top of performing on stages around the world, Patti and Brenda are working in schools to bring the positive values of the civil rights movement (racial harmony and justice) to young people.

PATTI HENLEY

 

Patti Henley's singing career has led to collaborations with Roberta Flack, Micheal Bolton, Jerry Butler, Diana Ross, Tower Of Power, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Laura Branigan, Nancy Wilson, Della Reese, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Kenny G and more. Her global travels have taken her on many World Tours where she duetted and recorded with Motown icon Smokey Robinson. Over 25 years she recorded several albums with Smokey including “Smokey’s Family Robinson” and “Quiet Storm”. Patti is one third of a family gospel trio, the “Henleys”. Brothers Robert iii, Ronald and she appear  in concerts throughout the country. The Henleys were featured vocalist at the Memorial Musical Celebration in honor of Coretta Scott King at Ebenezer Baptist church, in Atlanta Georgia

 

As an actress Patti currently tours with the Paul Morse Acting Company and is an Artist In Residence at the Los Angeles Music Center. She stars in the role of Harriet Tubman in Letters To Harriet presented in the California school systems. Patti sparkled with her one woman show Sing America while entertaining the Chinese consulate.

 

Ms. Henley served as producer for the Hollywood Black Film Festival’s opening night Red Carpet Gala, at the Harmony Gold Theatre in Hollywood and the closing night award ceremony, “A Tribute To Black Cinema: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow”.

 

BRENDA LEE EAGER

Brenda was born in Alabama where she began singing in a small-town church as a child. She also started writing songs and by the tenth grade led her own vocal group. In her teens she joined Jesse Jackson’s “Operation Breadbasket” choir and became part of the “Piperettes”  performing at Civil Rights church sermons and political rallies across the United States in the 1960s and early 1970s.

 

She later relocated to Chicago, Illinois, and by 1971 was writing hits, recording albums and duetting with legend Jerry Butler. She recorded several singles with Butler, the first of which, "Ain't Understanding Mellow", was her biggest chart success reaching # 3 on the Billboard R&B chart and # 21 on the Hot 100. It sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A in April 1972.

 

As a solo singer she had two R&B chart hits, "Good Old Fashioned Lovin" (Playboy Records, 1975) and "Watch My Body Talk" (Private-I Records, 1984). She worked singer alongside such artists as Ray Charles, Mavis Staples, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and Graham Nash.  She has also written songs recorded by Prince,  Bobby Womack, The Staples Singers, Aretha Franklin, Cliff Richard, Gladys Knight, Shirley Brown and others.  Brenda also penned two songs that would become hits for  Prince.

 

She performed in the musicals The Message is in the Music alongside Della Reese, and Wild Woman Blues in Europe with blues singer Maine Weldon. Since 2006, she has directed The Heaven on Earth (T.H.E.) Choir at the City of Angels Church in Culver City, California. She has also written and performed in a one-woman musical theatre show based on her own life called Grace which premiered in Los Angeles in 2010.  She recently sang alongside Will.I.Am on his latest album.

 

DIRECTOR,

PETER VON PUTTKAMER

Peter von Puttkamer has executive produced, written, directed dozens of international and award-winning network and cable televsion series and specials during a career that has spanned three decades. His production company, Gryphon Productions Ltd., has created educational programming for Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, History Channel, BBC, National Geographic, Discovery Channel Europe/International/HD, TLC, PBS and more. These programs that were created, directed, written and produced by Peter have won more than 80 international awards.

 

His fascination with indigenous peoples, anthropology, archaeology, mythology, music and wildlife has led to unique and imaginative projects around the world. Whether working on heart-felt personal stories; socio-political issues or broad adventure-based entertainment documentaries; film-making for von Puttkamer has always been a blend of mind, body and spirit.

 

He has climbed through ancient caves used for human sacrifice in Mexico; searched for the largest (mammoth-like) Asian elephants in the world; been charged by Tigers; filmed Native American sacred mask rituals; recorded soul music classics with legendary recording artists, searched for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Lost World in South America and more, but Soul Sisters has been the culmination of a life long dream to honor the artists and pioneers of Civil Rights he admires the most.

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