EVIL SQUIRREL: So, what do you think of the Shelf Critter Request countdown so far?
ES: See! I told you it’d be a blast!
SCRATCHY: It’s hard to be sarcastic around someone that’s as lame as you are. Let’s just get the next song on so I can pick up my neon purple fur rave costume from the dry cleaners…
SPONKIE 2: The next critter in the countdown is Sage!
SCRATCHY: Dafuq? How’d that goth bitch get a pick? (Looks over at ES) Nevermind, I don’t want to know….
CAPER: That’s you Mommy!!!
SAGE: OMG! They totally called my name! Here I come, peeps!!!
HANK FOX: Ya know, those city folks sure dress weird!
CLETUS RACCOON: I reckon she’s one of those “ladies of the night” I’ve heard stories about.
JIM BOB SQUIRREL: Who’d pay good money for them fancy wimmen? All I need is four legs and a heartbeat!
ES: Thank you for submitting a song, Sage!
SAGE: Oh, it was nothing, Dadd…. I mean, Mr. Squirrel!
SCRATCHY: You don’t even have a shtick in SCT other than being a wannabe emo skunk cosplayer! How can you even play along with this countdown?
SAGE: If you haven’t been reading The Nest the last couple years, Miss Blue Haired Floozy, I’ve become the Shelf’s animal lover!
SCRATCHY: Most of the critters ARE animals!
SAGE: I mean the four legged type! Come here little puppy!!!
FLEABAG: BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! SCRATCH MY NUTS! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK!
ES: That’s right, so it’d only be sensible for Sage to pick out a song that references the kind work she does with the Shelf’s pet population!
SCRATCHY: Speaking of the pet population….
FLEABAG: BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! CENSORED! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK!
SAGE: Bad doggy!!! Bad!!!!
SCRATCHY: (Taking the record out of the envelope) Well, at least the song isn’t a dog…
Fontella Bass is the second artist in this countdown to hail from my area, born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Despite being a very talented soul singer, her pop career wasn’t as successful as it probably should have been. She’s effectively a one hit wonder, but it’s one hit you probably know and love…
“Rescue Me” reached #4 on the US pop charts in 1965, and not only turned Bass into a household name, but put Chess Records back in the hit parade for the first time since Chuck Berry in the 50’s. Despite the success of the song, Bass wound up with very little to show for her effort. Although she co-wrote the song, her name was not included as a songwriter, and it would take years before she was able to legally get that wrong righted. Her label also stiffed her big time on her royalties from the record sales… apparently so much so, that she tore up the measly check they gave her and literally threw it back in their face.
Making matters worse, several decades after the release of “Rescue Me,” the song, like many other oldies, was being used to death in commercials…. all without approval of Bass. She had to endure more legal battles to be compensated for shilling products without her knowledge. And perhaps the ultimate “insult” that can bury an unlucky one hit wonder in the dustbin of music history is that when her song began playing for a new generation, they thought it was someone more famous…
Aretha Franklin, to her credit, even jokes that “Rescue Me” is the best song she never recorded. That’s OK, because The Nest and the SCT Request countdown want to give a little respect to one of the forgotten singers of the golden age of soul, Fontella Bass!
The critters will rescue another stray song from the some point in the past 65 years next Monday…