Fontella Bass (born July 3, 1940 in St. Louis, Missouri - died December 26, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri) was an American soul and rnb singer, recording the iconic hit "Rescue Me" in 1965. The daughter of gospel singer Martha Bass (of the Clara Ward Singers), Bass was exposed to music at an early age.
She was singing in her church's choir at just six years old. As a teenager, Bass was attracted by more secular music. Throughout high school she began singing contemporary R&B songs at local contests and fairs. In 1961, Bass found steady work on the local Leon Claxton Show, playing piano and singing in the chorus.
She also began playing piano on blues vocalist Little Milton's records. With the support of Bob Lyons, the manager of St. Louis station KATZ, Bass recorded several songs released through Bobbin Records. She saw no notable success outside her home town, however.Make Fontella Bass Playlist