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Back in Time: Martha Bass

Occasionally, we dig into details of some of the LPs (that’s right –LPs) we are spinning on our turntables in the GospelFlava.com offices…

Raised in St. Louis, singing solos in her Baptist church from an early age, and then joining the famed Willie Mae Ford Smith‘s quartet at the age of 21, Martha Bass had life-long experience in the milieu of gospel music. Her song styling is without question a great tribute to the years she spent under Mother Smith’s tutelage.  Her inimitable delivery of song was picked up by her children; Fontella Bass began her musical career as her mother’s accompanist.  She would go on to a hugely successful career in the secular field, singing and co-writing her greatest hit, Rescue Me, which was released in 1965.  Fontella’s return to Gospel was via the recording of standards on No Ways Tired, released in 1995.  The disc was nominated for a Grammy Award.  Bass’ son, David Peaston would also share time in the spotlight following numerous winning appearances on Showtime at the Apollo in the 80s.   Peaston recorded two albums and won a Soul Train Music Award.  The family would record a Gospel LP Promises: A Family Portrait of Faith in 1991.

Courtesty of YouTube’s “Rowoches”, here is some audio from the LP, the title track “I’m Grateful”, which showcases the tremendous vocal expression that Bass was capable of.

Enon Tabernacle Past
Remembering Capitol


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