Thursday, October 20, 2011

Don't Jump

That's what I'm telling myself, once in a while. So what I was doing since last week- end was going through the older posts of this blog, revising here and there and adding several postscripts. After all, this blog is work in progress and I often come across some new or updated information, especially as information about many artists or songs featured here isn't easily to come by or, worse still, isn't as reliable as one would like. It also happens that I forget to browse my CD collection for re- issues or re-masterings of LP. I should always remember doing so because in many cases the CDs come with substantial and well-researched liner notes which provide information (not seldom in collaboration with the original artists) not found any- where else. And of course, there are the usual mistakes or errors you only detect when not looking for them. You know how it go.

In order not to tell you this without a rhythmic delight coming along with it I made today another Fontella-day! Her first release on Checker (and actually her first 45 after Vesuvius # 1002) had been »Don't Mess Up A Good Thing«, a duet with Bobby McClure arranged by Oliver Sain. The follow-up to this 45, in spring '65, was »You'll Miss Me (When I'm Gone)« / »Don't Jump«. The song on the A-side fared well enough, reaching #27 r&b and even denting the pop charts (# 91). A Billboard critic pronounced »You'll Miss Me« a »stronger entry« than the 45 that went before and prophesied that it had »hit written all over it« (see below). I'm not convinced. But still, these are nice songs and Fontella Bass does, as she always did with whatever material, make them worth listening to. And not to forget that the duets with Bobby McClure (with whom Fontella was also touring in '65) are the great fanfare announcing her soon-to-follow breakout with »Rescue Me«, released on Checker later in '65. My copy of Checker # 1111 has the burgundy red label with Checker in silver letters to the left, while there are other copies around showing the red-and-black »checkered« label on light blue ground. For all we know, the burgundy label was in use before Chess / Checker switched (for a short time really) to the »checkered« label.

Fontella Bass & Bobby McClure:  »You'll Miss Me« / »Don't Jump« on Checker # 1111 (1965):

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Billboard, May 22, 1965, page 35

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