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 contributed background vocals.) The song hit #1 on the R&B chart and #4 on the pop singles chart. It earned Bass a Grammy Award nomination for Best Contemporary Vocal Performance – Female.

The song was by far the biggest hit for Bass, born July 3, 1940, in St. Louis, Mo. She was signed to Chess Records’ Checker subsidiary and was just 25 when she recorded “Rescue Me.” She died on December 26, 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.

In 2019, the group received the Kennedy Center Honors.

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  1. Daddy Cool
    #1 Daddy Cool 4 July, 2020, 06:50

    While I love Rescue Me as an iconic RnB plus pop hit of the Sixties, I had the 45 RPM back then and thought the B-side ‘Soul Of a Man’ as one of the best bluesy RnB tunes of its time. Fontella absolutely sings her heart out .

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