About Me

Watercolors by Ateli© Are Featured Courtesy Of The Black Jaguar Music Company.

My Industry Credentials

As a fifteen-year member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) (US), I, Cat Ellington, am also an elected member of the Guild of International Songwriters and Composers (GISC) (UK), the Harry Fox Agency (US), the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP, New York), the Academy of American Poets (AAP), and the Chicago Writers Association (CWA). Aside from these of my professional elections, I also serve as a proud member of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) in my personal philanthropic efforts.

Since age 10, I have composed hundreds of song works that extend (24) genres. And from the R&B collection of said body of work, five original compositions are to be featured on the original motion picture soundtrack to the upcoming motion picture, Dual Mania (2018).

• For information on my filmography, please consult the Internet Movie Database (IMDb, IMDbPro), the Movie Database (TMDb), Stage32, and FilmFreeway

My Greatest Musical Influences

There are many extraordinary and legendary songwriters and composers who have influenced my own style of musical creativity. And whether some of them have passed on or remain with us, their gifts of song continue to play a meaningful role in my own body of work.

These great influences include: Stevie Wonder, Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff, Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland, Frankie Beverly, Smokey Robinson, Eddie Kendricks, Danny Joe Brown & Dave Hlubek, Hugh Edward "Hughie" Thomasson, Jr., Lionel Richie, Basia, Nina Simone, Joan Armatrading, Angie Stone, George Thorogood, Mark Knopfler, Joe Cocker, Ian Anderson, Roberta Flack, Carlos Santana, Bernie Taupin, Sir Elton John, Eric Carmen, Gerry Beckley, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, David Bowie, Roger Waters, Rupert Holmes, Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, Bono, Edge, Larry Mullen, Jr., & Adam Clayton, Don Henley, Lou Gramm, Tommy Shaw, Dennis DeYoung, David Byrne, Joe Lynn Turner, Ritchie Blackmore, Nikki Sixx, Sean Callery, Jeff Carlisi, Donnie Van Zant, Eddie Money, David Gates, Michael Stipe, Brian Johnson, Angus Young, Billy Squier, Lindsey Buckingham, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, Bruce Hornsby, Lenny Kravitz, Jim Seals, Dash Crofts, Paul Davis, Roger Hodgson, Jonny Lang, Michael McDonald, Rob Halford, Mark Slaughter, Ronnie Van Zant, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams, Lobo, James Taylor, Kevin Cronin, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jim Morrison, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Fred Ebb, Lou & Peter Berryman, Pat Travers, Sir Rod Stewart, David Crosby, Joe Walsh, Pete Townshend, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Frankie Yankovic, Walter Becker, Donald Fagen, Gregg Allman, Geddy Lee, Bob Dorough, Lynn Ahrens, Dave Frishberg, Rod Temperton, Jim Peterik, David Pack, Mark Farner, Graham Russell, David Peverett, Maurice White, Vernon White, Philip Bailey, Al Jarreau, Michael Hutchence, Daryl Hall, John Oates, Bob Marley, Nile Rodgers, Quincy Jones, Henry Mancini, Jack Elliott, Bob James, Dave Grusin, Billy Joel, Todd Rundgren, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, India.Arie, Sade, Natalie Merchant, Michel Legrand, Music Soulchild, Gordon Lightfoot, Jim Croce, Dan Seals, John Ford Coley, Bruce Dickinson, Harry Chapin, Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Neil Diamond, John Mellancamp, Justin Hayward, John Lodge, Don McLean, Bonnie Raitt, Elmer Bernstein, Jan Hammer, Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard, Mike Post, Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Carly Simon, Paul "Ace" Frehley, Ronnie James Dio, Joan Baez, Woody Guthrie, Amy Mann, Phoebe Snow, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Linda Creed, Thom Bell, Kenny Loggins, Paul williams, Roger Nichols, Kenny Ascher, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Dave Matthews, Steve Perry, Neal Schon, El DeBarge, Paul Stanley, Rob Thomas, Paul Simon, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Bobby Womack, Ludwig van Beethoven, Burt Bacharach, Sting, Hal David, Carole Bayer Sager, Diane Warren, Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman, James Harris III, Terry Lewis, The Stanley Brothers, Steve Miller, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Barry Manilow, Boz Scaggs, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Maxwell, John Lennon, Sir Paul McCartney, Peter Cetera, Yolanda Adams, Jill Scott, Phil Collins, Alan Parsons, Bob Segar, Peter Gabriel, Joni Mitchell, Prince Rogers Nelson, Bob Dylan, Nick Ashford, Valerie Simpson, Patrice Rushen, Siedah Garrett, Najee, Bill Withers, Terrence Blanchard, Miles Davis, and Duke Ellington.

Songwriting cannot be taught; it is a God-given gift from the womb. And tremendously blessed in the great craft of songwriting, even in the art of lyrical structure and musical composition, are the aforementioned. Many as they number, these are the same who have both inspired and influenced over 35 years of the Cat Ellington song work.

Storytellers, baby!

My Very First Written Work

Though the gift of song had been implanted in me by the living God from the womb of my mother, I had not been allowed to realize it until I was maybe six or seven years old, I can't remember exactly. But I know it had been around that chronological time frame. Music, from since the time that I was old enough to remember, had simply become my magnetic interest straight away; the art form had become my passion. And I knew, I just knew that music was what my calling on Earth had been. For it came too naturally to me. I could feel the pull for it in my bones, deep within my spirit. Music was to become me. 

The sound of the drum cymbal. The sound of the drum cymbal had become my obsession. There was just something about that sound. Seriously, whenever the stereo was on in our house, which was often, I would literally run over to the speaker to press my ear up against it, that I would be able to absorb the entire sound of the drum cymbal. I don't know know what it had been, I didn't even know the name of it at the time, but there was just something about the sound effect of the drum cymbal that captured me and mesmerized me, even from the time that I was a very young child old enough to understand. To this very day, I love that sound, what the sound of the drum cymbal.

The late (and undeniably great) Dorothy "Dottie" Luckett, whom had been my very first musical mentor, took me under her gentle wing while I had been a 7th grader attending John C. Haines elementary in our native Chicago. Instant friends and kindred spirits, ma received me in as her own "daughter" because like her I had been chocolate in skin hue and chubby in body weight. But also because we shared the same gift, which was that of music. A tremendous songwriter and pianist in her own right, my "Dottie" nurtured my musically creative abilities, mentoring my writing skills and my composition structures. She had also composed our school song, which I had thought to be a very unique work, what considering that the piece had been a wonderful take on a pre-existing song popular during that time. 

During my 7th and 8th grade years, I studied the piano under her tutelage. And while at home, I wrote whatever words had come to mind first. The gift was there, it was ony a matter of listening and being focused.

As time progressed into the winter season of 1980, a very dear friend of mine had conceived a child. That very dear friend is named Marie "ReeRee" or "Smitty" (whichever one you prefer) Smith. She was older than me, of course, and I loved her like a big sister. Ree didn't play, she was the ultimate ass-kicker. And she had also been my fiercest protector. Whenever people bullied me or picked on me or made fun of me concerning my weight and she heard about it, ReeRee would get busy on that ass. She would actually resort to a physical fight if she couldn't reason with my offender(s) verbally. She took up for me on many a day. And I would love her forever for it. Even to this day, she remains one of only a few of my (s)heroes.

After we all found out about her pregnancy, word spread like wildfire throughout the entire Harold Ickes Homes public housing development, our dwelling place at that time. All the way from 22nd and South State St. down to 25th and South State St. - where the Ickes ended - had word about Ree's pregnancy spread. Some of our friends in the Hilliard Homes knew about it, too. And we all rallied around our girl. Ree was too young to have a baby, some believed, but she was still our ReeRee. And we rendered her our full support. Her baby was to be all of our baby. And I was jacked up. I loved her so much. I wanted to do something good for her, I just didn't know what to do. But on Wednesday, 14 January 1981, the Spirit sent a blessing, a great blessing. The first five words with a melody that would honor my girl's pregnancy. And honestly, I hadn't been getting my tape recorder out fast enough. I had to record the melody - by way of the words - orally because I didn't have a keyboard at that moment. But I wrote the words down in my notebook afterwards. The flow stopped. The five words were all I had to go on. And so I prayed to the Lord for the rest . . . the rest of the work.

My prayer had been answered on Thursday, 15 January 1981 - the very next day. Sitting alone in my bedroom, I focused. The creative faucet was beginning to trickle, drip, drip. And then, just like that, the faucet was flowing, running smoothly, coming down upon me like a sweet, harmonious rain, drenching the creative that I was to be. And before long, I had it. My very first song work, simple and straight to the point. It would be the baby's song. A work for ReeRee's baby. And that is exactly what the new song would be titled, what "The Baby's Song." And so it was. Emotional as I am, I couldn't remember a single time in my childhood when I'd cried as intensely as I did on that day, my 10-year-old mouth full of Godly praise. The Baby's Song was born way before the unborn child who'd inspired it. And the day was blessed, the celebration unforgettable.

The Baby's Song would be the first born in the Cat Ellington song catalogue, to be succeeded in future years by a myriad of more.

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