Goodbye, Fontella Bass (1940 -2012)

The Grim Reaper has been working overtime in the entertainment world this week.

We lost TV legend Jack Klugman (The Odd Couple, Quincy M.E.) and veteran character actor Charles Durning (Dog Day Afternoon, The Sting, and about a million other films) on Christmas Eve, and today it was announced that 1960s soul singer Fontella Bass has also departed for the great beyond. She was 72.

Some of her better-known tunes include “Don’t Mess Up a Good Thing” and “Recovery.” Here is Fontella’s biggest hit, “Rescue Me,” which came out in 1965 and hit #1 on the R&B charts. You’ll know it when you hear it, because it shows up in a lot of commercials and movie soundtracks:

A reminder not to take for granted the people you care about… even ones you only admire from a distance.







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6 responses to “Goodbye, Fontella Bass (1940 -2012)

  • Jill Weatherholt

    “Rescue Me” has been a long time favorite on my iPod ~ great song, great talent!

  • Bryan Edmondson

    I try to never take anyone I love for granted. Everyone I know and everyone I see- each stranger I pass on the sidewalk, they will all die one day.
    I have been thinking a lot about death. You know my health problems so I think it is a good thing to deal with now.
    Some Buddhists monks meditate about their on death each day and try to fully visualize and realize the mortal end, instead of denying it, like most do. I did for years.. They concentrate on the fact that they will not exist anymore. That way when they reach the end of their lives they presume that they will be at complete peace having accepted it.
    It is kind of creepy but some radical practicing Buddhists sleep in a coffin every night in their monastery.
    Thinking about our death and not existing anymore, is a hard pill to swallow. Freud, for all of his problems and perversions, was right, I think, that death is man’s biggest fear.
    I have tried thinking about my death every day for the last two years and my fear of death is really minimal. I am no longer afraid to not exist. It is no big deal.
    However I almost choked on a tuna sandwich recently and I panicked. I think this is normal evolutionary behavior.So no matter what I think everyone is afraid to die. At least in some way
    Now that I constantly think about my own death, and the death of every loved one I take so much for granted, I really make the most of each moment, and I enjoy the simple things instead of letting them pass as a blur in my peripheral vision. It is weird to think about your death daily, but I recommend this to anyone. It really helps. So dying is no big deal, my death that is, a loved one dying, or a singer we do not know, is what is so permanent and devastating.
    I think that mourning is the price that we pay for happiness.

    O.k. I just wanted to leave you the weirdest reply ever posted on your blog. I am sleepy, I am going to go crawl into my coffin. It is cold tonight, so I am shutting the lid. The only bitch is having to go to the bathroom in the middle of night. Getting out of that thing in the dark is going to be the death of me.

    • ericjbaker

      Your reply was not weird at all, Bryan, just insightful. I think about your health, not your death, because I expect you to be a around for quite a while yet.

      And thanks for not making fun of me about the “1060s” typo. My internet at home is down and I typed this up on the fly.

  • nrhatch

    Good song to share . . . didn’t know that Jack Klugman had passed away. Loved The Odd Couple. Klugman owned Oscar Madison! 😀

    • ericjbaker

      Loved that show when I was a lad.

      My view is that good TV shows have two essential elements: Good writing and good chemistry between the characters. Jack Klugman and Tony Randall were perfection on the latter point.

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