Fontella Bass has passed away. A ‘one-hit wonder,’ her hit was 1965’s Rescue Me.
For me, as a disk jockey in the 60s and 70s, this song was gold. It was uptempo with a hooky instrumental bridge to ‘talk-up.’ Fontella’s voice was strong and soulful.
I never tired of it (and trust me, there were plenty of songs I tired of).
It’s sad Fontella Bass has died, but it’s also an opportunity to point out the hidden power in the song–the bass line. I had to search to find the name and I’m not 100% sure, but I think it was Louis Satterfield, a well traveled Chicago session musician who was a founding member of Earth Wind & Fire.
The bass is penetrating and complementary. It’s the dominant player in the song.
Would Rescue Me have been a hit without Satterfield? I don’t think so. He is the unsung hero in Fontella Bass’s life.