Fontella Bass, singer

Fontella Bass

July 3, 1940, St. Louis, MO ~ December 26, 2012, St Louis, MO

The 1965 classic Rescue Me is widely regarded as the greatest record Aretha Franklin never made. The song in question was instead cut by singer Fontella Bass, who like Franklin channeled the power and passion of her gospel roots to create some of the finest music of soul's golden age. ~ Allmusic: Fontella Bass ~ retrieved December 23, 2013 © Allmusic

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July 3, 1971 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (5) Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose, Treat Her Like A Lady ~ #2 (4) the Raiders, Indian reservation (The Lament Of The Cherokee Indian) ~ #1 (1) Carole King, It's Too Late/I Feel the Earth Move


After Little Milton was offered a recording contract with Chicago's preeminent blues label, Chess Records, Bass was given the opportunity to sing with the band as well as play piano. When Little Milton and his bandleader, saxophonist and arranger Oliver Sain, parted ways, Bass followed Sain. The Oliver Sain Soul Revue featured Bass, singer Bobby McClure, and trumpet player Lester Bowie. Bass, however, also wanted to perform and record with other bands in the St. Louis area, most notably with Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm and with Tina Turner. Sain was not amenable to allowing Bass such liberties, prompting Bass and her new husband, Bowie, to move to Chicago in 1965. She had met brothers Phil and Leonard Chess of Chess Records when she performed with Little Milton, and they signed her to Checker, their R&B subsidiary label. Bass attained success immediately with Don't Mess Up a Good Thing, a classic duet performed with McClure. ~ Musicianguide: Fontella Bass ~ retrieved December 21, 2013 © Musicianguide

Fontella Bass ~ Rescue Me (Smith/Miner) ~ Ranked #111 NME 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time in 2014 ~ The definitive slice of rhythm and blues ardour that set the tone for late-60s Motown and R&B at “pained elation.” ~ 2014 © NME

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