The Waitresses were an experimental new wave band from Akron, Ohio. The group was led by guitarist/songwriter Chris Butler with lead vocals performed by Patty Donahue.
They had minor success in the United States with the song "I Know What Boys Like", from their 1982 debut album Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful. "I Know What Boys Like" was originally released as a single in 1980 but did not chart initially. The song was an underground hit, however, and by 1982 it peaked at No. 62 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 23 on Billboard's Top Tracks chart, No. 14 on the Australian Singles Chart (Kent Music Report), and also charted in the UK.
The Waitresses also recorded the theme song to the television program Square Pegs, which aired during the 1982–1983 season. (The band also appeared as themselves in the pilot episode.) Their Christmas song "Christmas Wrapping" was originally released on the ZE Records album A Christmas Record in 1981, and became a No. 45 hit in the United Kingdom in 1982. The song was subsequently covered by the Spice Girls in 1998, as the B-side of their single "Goodbye" and by the television show Glee sung by the character Brittany for their 2011 Christmas special, which aired December 13, 2011.
The group released two albums, Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful and Bruiseology, and one EP, I Could Rule the World If I Could Only Get the Parts. For many years, none of these were easily available on CD, but that was rectified by 2013's Just Desserts: The Complete Waitresses, which collects virtually all of the band's recordings for Polygram.
The band's lead singer Patty Donahue left in summer 1984 and was briefly replaced by Holly Beth Vincent. Vincent left the band two weeks later and Donahue returned. The band finally split up in late 1984 after the departures of Carney and Klayman.
Donahue died of lung cancer at the age of 40 on December 9, 1996.
|1982||Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful?||41||Polydor|
|1982||I Could Rule the World If I Could Only Get the Parts EP||128||Polydor|
|1984||Make the Weather EP||–||Polydor|
|1990||The Best of The Waitresses||–||Polydor|
|1997||King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents The Waitresses||–||King Biscuit|
|2003||20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of The Waitresses||–||Polydor|
|2007||Your Choice of Sides − A Collection of Outtakes & Obscuriosities||–||Unreleased|
|2013||Just Desserts: The Complete Waitresses||–||Omnivore>|
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|1978||In "Short Stack" ("Slide" / "Clones")||—||—||single|
|1980||"I Know What Boys Like" / "No Guilt"||—||—||single|
|1981||"Christmas Wrapping"||—||—||A Christmas Record|
|1982||"I Know What Boys Like"||62||—||Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful|
|"Square Pegs"||—||—||I Could Rule the World If I Could Only Get the Parts|
|"Christmas Wrapping"||—||45||A Christmas Record|
|1983||"Make the Weather"||—||—||Bruiseology|
Principal band members
- Patty Donahue (lead vocals, 1978–1983, 1984)
- Chris Butler (guitars, background vocals)
- Mars Williams (saxophone, reed instruments)
- Billy Ficca (drums)
- Dan Klayman (keyboards/organ)
- Tracy Wormworth (bass, background vocals) (1982–1984)
- David Hofstra (bass) (1978–1982)
- Ariel Warner (background vocals) (1978–1982)
- Ralph Carney (keyboards)
- Holly Beth Vincent (briefly replaced Donahue as lead vocalist, 1984)
- Michaels, Randolph (September 30, 2005). . Flashbacks to Happiness: Eighties Music Revisited. iUniverse. p. 205−207. ISBN 0-595370-07-1. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
- "Old School" (February 25, 2012). (blog). Kickin' it Old School. tBlog.com. Retrieved October 25, 2012.