The future Mrs. Springsteen added her voice to the E Street Band in 1984

She was a smart Jersey girl with sweet-sounding chops, a singer who’d been gigging at Bruce Springsteen’s haunt, the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, and touring with his pals Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. So when the Boss phoned her on June 26, 1984, three days before his Born in the U.S.A. tour, to ask her to join the E Street Band, Patti Scialfa signed on and fit right in.

Springsteen summoned Scialfa because new guitarist Nils Lofgren was having trouble singing certain harmonies. By 1988’s Tunnel of Love tour, she had taken a central role in her boss’s life on stage and off, displacing his then wife, Julianne Phillips (see box at right). ”I like to take a little credit and joke that because I didn’t have a high voice, Bruce and Patti found each other,” says Lofgren. The lanky redhead became the second Mrs. Springsteen on June 8, 1991; the New Jersey-based couple have three kids: Evan, 6, Jessica, 5, and Sam, 3. Scialfa, now 44, also released a well-received 1993 album, Rumble Doll.

During his recent tour for 1995’s The Ghost of Tom Joad, Springsteen, now 47, paid homage to his first female backup singer with an affectionate, semi-raunchy tune praising love with a ”red-headed woman.” Let’s just say he gave the audience a reason to believe.

JUNE 26, 1984

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