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Fontella Bass

Biography

The 1965 classic “Rescue Me personally” is widely thought to be the best record Aretha Franklin under no circumstances made. The tune involved was instead lower by vocalist Fontella Bass, who like Franklin channeled the energy and interest of her gospel root base to create a number of the finest music of soul’s fantastic age. Delivered in St. Louis, Missouri, on July 3, 1940, Bass was the girl of gospel vocalist Martha Bass, a longtime person in the renowned Clara Ward Performers. Her grandmother Navada Carter was also a specialist gospel performer, and it had been unavoidable that Fontella stick to suit, producing her cathedral choir debut at age group five. Nevertheless, through the middle-’50s she rebelled against custom, sneaking out of our home to sing secular R&B at regional fairs and nightclubs. By 16, Bass was the home pianist on the St. Louis nightspot the Showbar, and in 1961 she became a member of regional blues great Small Milton Campbell, afterwards marrying the band’s trumpeter, fledgling jazz titan Lester Bowie. Bass initial earned notice on her behalf vocal on Small Milton’s 1962 strike “So Mean if you ask me,” soon accompanied by her Bobbin label single debut, “I Don’t Harm Anymore.” However when Campbell and his pianist Oliver Sain parted methods, Bass exited alongside Sain, who called her lead vocalist of his Oliver Sain Soul Revue. Her second one, the Ike Turner-produced “I REALLY LIKE the person,” adopted on Turner’s Prann label in 1963. Bass after that cut “Poor Small Fool,” a duet with Tina Turner released around the Vesuvius imprint. So when she wasn’t carrying out with Sain and his group, she moonlighted like a solo take action, playing gigs across East St. Louis beneath the alias “Sabrina.” Following the 1964 launch from the Oliver Sain Soul Revue’s debut work, “Heavy Sugars,” the pianist escorted Bass and vocalist Bobby McClure to Chicago, where he created their duet, “Don’t SCREW UP a very important thing,” for Chess Information’ Checker imprint. The solitary demonstrated a high Ten hit, and also after Bass remaining the group to attach a single career, Sain continued to be a detailed collaborator. She relocated to Chicago in 1965 and past due that same 12 months scored the largest strike of her profession with her single debut, “Save Me.” A buoyant dance traditional made unforgettable by Bass’ impassioned, gritty vocal along with the percolating bass of Chess program mainstay Louis Satterfield and Gene Barge’s powerful horn set up, the solitary topped the R&B graphs for per month and crossed to the pop Best Five. Among the biggest-selling information in Chess’ storied background, “Recovery Me” continues to be an unqualified traditional from the era and it is a staple of oldies radio even today, although some listeners today mistake the record because the function of Aretha Franklin, who ironically enough didn’t even enter the favorite consciousness until 2 yrs afterwards. Worse, Bass hardly ever received correct credit or economic remuneration for co-writing the tune, and her following fights with Chess execs gained her a popularity being a malcontent. The “Recovery Me” sound-alike “Recovery” implemented in early 1966, achieving the R&B Best 20, but Bass’ operate being a hitmaker demonstrated frustratingly brief, and after credit scoring a minor strike past due that same season with “Special Lovin’ Daddy,” she hardly ever returned towards the U.S. graphs once again. With her profession mired in natural, Bass exited Checker in 1969 with hubby Bowie — today a renowned avant-garde participant most widely known for his use the Artwork Outfit of Chicago — relocated to Paris. There she collaborated using the group with an LP, the acclaimed The Artwork Outfit of Chicago with Fontella Bass, but normally focused on increasing a family group until time for St. Louis in 1971, renewing ties with Oliver Sain and putting your signature on towards the Shreveport, Louisiana-based Paula label. The outstanding solitary “Who You Gonna Blame” expected the 1972 launch from the Sain-produced Totally free, an amazingly soulful set that’s the most unforgettable LP of Bass’ profession. Attention from radio and retail was negligible, nevertheless, and after following singles including “GIVEN THAT I’ve Found a very important thing” and “It’s Hard to REUNITE In” flopped, she exited Paula in 1974, not really resurfacing until 3 years later using the Epic solitary “Soon when i Handled Him.” Aside from periodic guest appearances using the Artwork Outfit of Chicago, she spent the rest from the 1970s & most from the 1980s like a homemaker, confining her musical pursuits to her Baptist chapel choir, however in 1990 she teamed with her mom and sibling David Peaston for any gospel LP, Guarantees: A FAMILY GROUP Portrait of Beliefs. Bass continuing her go back to religious music using the 1995 Nonesuch discharge No Methods Tired, touring European countries regularly within the years before the 2001 appearance of her follow-up outing, Travellin’, a cooperation using the Voices of St. Louis gospel choir released in the Canadian indie Justin Period. In following years Bass experienced some strokes, accompanied by a coronary attack in early Dec 2012 — she passed away within a St. Louis hospice on Dec 26, 2012 at age 72.

Quick Facts


Full Name Fontella Bass
Date Of Birth July 3, 1940
Died December 26, 2012, St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Profession Gospel singer
Nationality American
Siblings David Peaston
Awards Grammy Hall of Fame, Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award
Music Groups Art Ensemble of Chicago
Music Songs Rescue Me, Don't Mess Up a Good Thing, Oh No, Not My Baby, I Can't Rest, Sweet Lovin' Daddy, Our Day Will Come, Leave It in the Hands of Love, Baby What You Want Me to Do, No Ways Tired, Now That I've Found a Good Thing, It's Hard to Get Back In, You'll Miss Me, You'll Never Know, You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin', Hold on This Time, I'm Leaving the Choice to You, Free at Last, Talking About Freedom, Lucky in Love, Gee Whiz, You're Gonna Miss Me, Since I Fell for You, Soul of the Man, How Glad I Am, Joy of Love, It Sure Is Good, My God, My Freedom, My Home, Travellin, You Don't Know What the Lord Told Me, Who You Gonna Blame, Don't Jump, I Need to Be Loved
Albums The New Look, Urban Magic, Les Stances a Sophie, Message to Our Folks, Urban Bushmen, Bap-Tizum, The Third Decade, Fanfare for the Warriors, Certain Blacks, People in Sorrow, Congliptious, Art Ensemble of Chicago with Fontella Bass, Chi-Congo, Full Force, Tribute to Lester, Reese and the Smooth Ones, Live at Mandell Hall, Coming Home Jamaica, Kabalaba, Old/Quartet, Art Ensemble of Soweto, Free (The Paula Recordings), A Jackson in Your House, Live in Berlin, Free, Rescued: The Best of Fontella Bass, Now That I Found A Good Thing, The Very Best Of, Selected Recordings, Travellin, Rescue Me: The Best Of, Soul Legend


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#Fact
1 She had four children with husband Lester Bowie: Neuka, Ju'Lene, Larry and Bahnamous.
2 Is the daughter of great gospel vocalist Martha Bass of The Clara Ward Gospel Singers and the older sister of David Peaston.
3 Her 1965 hit "Rescue Me" (#4) was her only song to reach the top ten on the Billboard pop charts, while it went to #1 on the R&B charts.
4 Gospel and Rhythm & Blues singer.


Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Who's Doing the Dishes? 2016 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Smitty 2012 performer: "Rescue Me"
The X Factor 2005 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Australian Idol 2005 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Singapore Idol 2004 TV Series writer - 1 episode
I, Robot 2004 performer: "Rescue Me"
A Cinderella Story 2004 performer: "Rescue Me"
The Long Firm 2004 TV Mini-Series performer - 1 episode
The South Bank Show TV Series documentary performer - 1 episode, 2004 writer - 1 episode, 2004
ER TV Series performer - 1 episode, 2000 writer - 1 episode, 2000
Ed 2000 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Best 2000 performer: "Rescue Me"
Zingo 1998 lyrics: "RESCUE ME" / music: "RESCUE ME" / performer: "RESCUE ME"
From the Earth to the Moon 1998 TV Mini-Series performer - 2 episodes
Sister Act 1992 performer: "Rescue Me"
The Wonder Years TV Series performer - 1 episode, 1991 writer - 1 episode, 1991
Air America 1990 writer: "Rescue Me"
Vital Signs 1990 performer: "Rescue Me" / writer: "Rescue Me"
Jumpin' Jack Flash 1986 performer: "Rescue Me"
French Shampoo (Homage to W. B.) 1975 performer: "Rescue Me" - uncredited
Les stances à Sophie 1971 performer: "Thème De Yoyo", "Thème De Céline", "Variations Sur Un Thème De Monteverdi", "Proverbes", "Thème Amour Universal", "Thème Libre" / writer: "Thème De Yoyo", "Thème De Céline", "Variations Sur Un Thème De Monteverdi", "Proverbes", "Thème Amour Universal", "Thème Libre"
Mondo Trasho 1969 performer: "Rescue Me"
Shindig! 1965 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Hollywood a Go Go 1965 TV Series performer - 1 episode

Composer

Composer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
In Your Arms (Rescue Me) 2000 Video short co-composer

Music Department

Music Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Les stances à Sophie 1971 vocals

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Kings of Rock 'n' Roll 2008 TV Movie documentary Herself - Singer
Soul Deep: The Story of Black Popular Music 2005 TV Mini-Series documentary Herself
Great Performances 2004 TV Series Herself
The South Bank Show 2004 TV Series documentary Herself
Late Night with Conan O'Brien 1995 TV Series Herself
Stramash! 1966 TV Series Herself
Crackerjack! 1966 TV Series Herself - Guest
Ready, Steady, Go! 1965-1966 TV Series Herself
Shindig! 1965 TV Series Herself - Singer
Hollywood a Go Go 1965 TV Series Herself - Singer

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
My Music: '60s Girl Grooves 2013 TV Movie Herself
The 55th Annual Grammy Awards 2013 TV Special Herself - In Memoriam
Shindig! Presents Groovy Gals 1991 Video documentary Herself

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