Deaths elsewhere

  • Updated: December 29, 2012 - 6:43 PM

Fontella Bass, 72, the singer whose 1965 hit "Rescue Me" was an indelible example of the decade's finest pop-soul, died Wednesday in St. Louis.

The cause was complications of a recent heart attack.

Bass, born in St. Louis on Feb. 3, 1940, learned gospel at the side of her mother, Martha, a member of one of the era's major traditional gospel groups, the Ward Singers. By the early 1960s she was playing with Little Milton, a blues guitarist and singer.

After some early recordings with Little Milton's Bobbin label in St. Louis, she joined Chess in Chicago and released her first records on its Checker subsidiary in early 1965. The first two, "Don't Mess Up a Good Thing" and "You'll Miss Me (When I'm Gone)," duets with Bobby McClure, had modest success. But her career was made by "Rescue Me," released later that year.

Harry Carey Jr., 91, a venerable character actor who was believed to be the last surviving member of director John Ford's legendary western stock company, died Thursday.

Carey's career spanned more than 50 years and included such Ford classics as "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" and "The Searchers."

"In recent years, he became kind of the living historian of the modern era," film critic Leonard Maltin told the Los Angeles Times on Friday.

The son of silent-film western star Harry Carey Sr. and his actress wife, Olive, Carey made more than 100 films.

The boyishly handsome Carey lacked the screen-dominating star quality of his longtime pal and frequent co-star, John Wayne. Instead, Carey brought a rare authenticity to his westerns as one of Hollywood's best horsemen.

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