- You Don't Know What The Lord Told Fontella Bass 3:37
Many/most of you know Fontella Bass’ 1965 smash hit, “Rescue Me”…a HUGE hit from Chicago (oh, did I ever mention Chicago is home to some of the BEST gospel in the world??…but I digress…for now.)
According to writer Robert Pruter in his book Chicago Soul, the song “Rescue Me” emerged from a songwriting and rehearsal, or “woodshedding”, session at Chess Records.
“‘Rescue Me’ was a terrific example of the Chess studio system at its finest… One Saturday in August 1965, Bass was sitting in a rehearsal studio with producers-writers Carl Smith and Raynard Miner. They were fooling around with the song when arranger Phil Wright walked in, and the ensuing four-way jam session brought forth ‘Rescue Me’. [Billy] Davis produced the side…” Bass claimed that, although Smith, Miner and Davis had assured her that her contribution to authorship of the song’s lyrics would be acknowledged, this was never done.
Bass recorded the song in three takes at Chess Studios in Chicago. (The late) Minnie Riperton provided background vocals, and Maurice White and Louis Satterfield, later of Earth, Wind & Fire, were on drums and bass respectively. Other musicians on the record included Pete Cosey and Gerald Sims on guitar, Leonard Casten on piano, Sonny Thompson on organ, and Charles Stepney on vibs. According to Bass, the call-and-response moans heard in the song was unintentional. In an interview with The New York Times in 1989, she said, “When we were recording that, I forgot some of the words… Back then, you didn’t stop while the tape was running, and I remembered from the church what to do if you forget the words. I sang, ‘Ummm, ummm, ummm,’ and it worked out just fine.”
Here’s a YouTube video of the original “Rescue Me”…I picked this version because I LOVE the bass line in this song and this guy covers it beautifully.
Oh….so, fast forward 30 years from “Rescue Me” and you’ll find that Fontella Bass released a GOSPEL album titled “No Ways Tired”. Today’s Song of the Day is from that album. A great Hammond B3, a great beat, a great fuzz lead guitar and a fantastic piano solo starting at 1:58 on “You Don’t Know What The Lord Told Me To Do”.