Rock Me Baby by Sugar Pie DeSanto

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I'll have to say this is my best personal find so far - a video featuring, would you believe, a Filipina holding her ground with Blues legends Willie Dixon (here on bass) and Hubert Sumlin (on guitar).

With her small frame, big voice, and quirky mannerisms, she is quite a character indeed.

Here she is at her best, taken in England (1964) doing the B.B. King classic.

Authentic Pinoy Blues!

From Wikipedia:

Sugar Pie DeSanto (born Umpeylia Marsema Balinton, October 16, 1935, Brooklyn, New York, United States) is an American rhythm and blues singer of the 1950s and 1960s.

She was born to an African American mother and Filipino father. She spent most of her early life in San Francisco, California, where she moved with her family at a young age.

In 1960, DeSanto rose to national prominence when her single, "I Want to Know," reached number four on Billboard's Hot R&B chart. DeSanto continued to release popular songs throughout the 1960s, including some collaborations with her cousin Etta James.


Clayton April 2, 2010 at 8:58 PM  

This makes me so happy.


Tom Colvin April 3, 2010 at 9:18 PM  

Thanks for unearthing this gem. Sugar Pie was still a very active performer in the West Coast blues scene in 2000 or thereabouts -- always a headliner at the San Francisco Blues Festival.

No one knows this, but there was communication between Sugar Pie's manager and Lampano Alley in 2000-2001. We were discussing a possible major concert for her here in Manila -- and a recording of a duet with Binky for the Lampano Alley. Unfortunately, it all fell apart when Binky moved to LA. Sayang.

John Du April 4, 2010 at 4:44 AM  

Surely that would have been one for the history books Tom.

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