Fontella Bass ‘Rescue Me’ with Maurice White

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Fontella Bass Rescue MeUpon his passing, we learned many things about the musical career of Maurice White, the Earth, Wind & Fire founder who died on February 4, 2016 at age 74 after suffering from Parkinson’s Disease for some time.

As a young man, he was a session drummer for the influential Chicago-based Chess label and played on records by Muddy Waters, The Impressions, Buddy Guy and Etta James.

One specific example: As a 23-year-old, White played drums on the 1965 R&B and pop hit “Rescue Me” by Fontella Bass. (Fun fact: Minnie Riperton recorded background vocals.) The song hit #1 on the R&B chart and #4 on the pop singles chart.

The song was by far the biggest hit for Bass, who was just 25 when she recorded it. She died in 2012 at age 72.

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White, born December 19, 1941, earned seven Grammy Awards and is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, having co-written such EW&F gems as “September,” “Shining Star” and “Sing a Song.” He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Earth, Wind & Fire in 2000.

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