Sunday, May 21, 2017

Fontella Bass – Rescue Me (Checker Records)

The 1965 released ‘Rescue Me’, remembered as her signature cut and one of the biggest selling records for Chess Records – totalizing more than 1 million units – which she sadly never got credited for as a co-writer, ironically sums up the life of Missouri-born singer Fontella Bass.
An incredible talent both as a musician (she started performing with a piano at the age of 5 along with her mom) and a singer, she never got the recognition she truly deserved, despite further collabs with the Art Ensemble 0f Chicago and, more recently, with The Cinematic Orchestra in the mid 200’s
Further to the success of this jam featuring drummer Maurice White who was soon after to become the leader of Earth, Wind & Fire and a young Minnie Riperton among the background singers, Bass said: “Things were riding high for Chess Records, but when it came time to collect my first royalty check, I looked at it, saw how little it was, tore it up and threw it back across the desk.”

Fontanella extensively toured with her brother – the late R&B singer David Peaston – in the 2000’s until she felt ill. She survived a breast cancer and a couple of strokes in 2005, prior having a leg amputated. She died, aged 72 on Dec. 26 at St Louis Hospice from a heart attack…

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