Sunday, 18 October 2015

Makin' Whoopie!





Sunday Blues? Well, why not try a little Sugar Pie De Santo...

Miss De Santo - a new discovery here at Dolores Delargo Towers - was born Umpeylia Marsema Balinton. It's no wonder she changed her name. A ballsy yet much overlooked singer, her career overlapped with the (much more famous) likes of Etta James, Koko Taylor and Dinah Washington.

Yet, fortuitously, she has outlived them all - and celebrated her 80th birthday on Friday!

Her tumultuous life story - her difficulties as a mixed-race (Filipino/African-American) girl in segregated America, jailed as a teen gang member, her battles with her record company, the ups-and-downs of her marriage (she wed the same man twice) and then the loss of her husband in a devastating fire - is soon to be the subject of a film documentary, and, remarkably, she's still touring!

Here's the lady herself - with some fancy footwork by the Nicholas Brothers in this fan-made video - with Do The Whoopie:


And again - in a barn-storming performance in glittering London in 1964 - with Rock Me Baby:


Sugar Pie De Santo (born 16th November 1935)

4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Isn't she a faboo discovery, though? Jx

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  2. Replies
    1. Indeed. She does!

      "Her stage act includes comedic stories, soulful R&B tunes and, until a recent neck surgery, some wild dancing and acrobatics.... DeSanto kicked off her shoes and somersaulted across the stage—in a dress—when honored with a Pioneer Award by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 2008."

      Apparently.

      Jx

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