Fontella Bass

Oh No, Not, My Baby

Fontella Bass The New Look (Chess CRL 4517) UK Mono 1966

Our Day Will Come; How Glad I Am; Oh, No, Not My Baby; Rescue Me; Gee Whiz; I'm A Woman; Since I Fell For You; Impossible; You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'; Soul Of The Man; Come and Get These Memories; I Know

Oh, No, Not My Baby is a Carol King & Jerry Goffin song that this time is done with a nice Chicago groove from 1965. The album also contains her No. 3 UK single Rescue Me that that was Bass's only hit. Come and Get these Memories is more of a medium pace dancer. The album is a UK release and is the only copy I've seen in 40 years! The US release has a cover showing her with a whip - too risky for the UK market?

Born 3 July 1940, St. Louis, Missouri, USA. The daughter of gospel luminary Martha Bass, Fontella toured as keyboard player and singer with the Little Milton band during the early 60s. Simultaneously, she made several solo records, including one for Ike Turner's Prann label. When Milton's bandleader, Oliver Sain, left to form his own group, he took Bass with him, and teamed her with another featured vocalist, Bobby McClure. The duo was subsequently signed to Checker Records, on which Don't Mess Up A Good Thing and You'll Miss Me (When I'm Gone) were hits in 1965.

Rescue Me, a driving song, gave Fontella success in her own right that same year with an R&B number 1 and a UK/US Top 20 hit. Other solo hits, including Recovery, followed, but by the end of the decade she had moved to Paris with her husband, jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie. When they later returned to America, Fontella recorded a series of fine records for the Shreveport-based Ronn/Jewel/Paula complex.

She has also worked with Bowie's avant garde group, the Art Ensemble Of Chicago. In Milan in 1980, Bass recorded a real Back To Basics gospel album in the company of her mother Martha, her brother and fellow soul artist David Peaston, and Amina Myers. She has subsequently recorded in the gospel field, and worked on the occasional project with Sain and Bowie. 
Bass died in hospice care on 26th December 2012 from complications of a heart attack she suffered three weeks ago, her daughter, Neuka Mitchell,. she had also suffered from strokes in recent years.

Thanks to Dave Allen for help with extra singles.

Fontella Bass Discography:

  • I Don't Hurt Anymore/ Brand New Me Dobin 134 (1962)
  • Honeybee/ Bad Boy Dobin 140 (1963)
  • Poor Little Fool/This Would Make Me Happy Sonja 2006 (1963)
  • I Love My Man/My good Lovin' Prann 5005 (1963)
Checker Records:
  • +Bobby McClure Don't Mess Up A Good Thing/Oliver Sain Jerk Loose (1097) 1965
  • You'll Miss Me/ Don't Jump (1111) 1965
  • Rescue Me/ Soul Of The man (1120) 1965
  • The New Look (album) Chess CRL 4517 UK (Checker US)
  • Recovery/ Leave It In The Hands Of Love (1131) 1965
  • Rescue Me Various Artists EP 1965
  • I Surrender/ I Can't Rest (1137) 1966
  • Safe And Sound/ You'll Never Ever Know (1147) 1966
  • Lucky In Love/ Sweet Lovin' Daddy (1183) 1967
Paula Records:
  • Hold On This Time/Who You Gonna Blame (360) 1972
  • I Want Everyone To Know/I Need To Be Loved (367) 1972
  • It Sure Is Good/I'm Leaving The Choice To You (376) 1972
  • It's Hard To Get Back/Now That I Found A Good Thing (393) 1973
  • Home Wrecker/Talking About Freedom (389) 1973
  • Free (Album) LPS 2203 1973
Epic Records:
  • Soon As I Touched Him/You Can Betcha In Love Epic 8-50341 (1977)
Just In Time Records:
  • Travellin' (with Voices Of St. Louis) CD (2001)

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