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Bessie Banks

Bessie Banks is primarily remembered by rock history buffs for her 1964 recording of "Go Now," but her career extended well into the 1970s and beyond. She was born Bessie White in North Carolina, and later raised in Brooklyn, NY. She loved to sing, and by the mid-'50s her voice's sensuality had begun attracting attention from various groups and managers. For a short time, she'd sung with a quartet called Three Guys and a Doll, who subsequently became the Four Fellows without her; while a member of the group, she met bass/baritone singer Larry Banks, who was the de facto leader of the group, and married him. As Toni Banks, she performed and recorded during the mid-'50s, including the single "You're Still in My Heart," on which she was backed by the Four Fellows. Taking back the name Bessie Banks, she recorded in the first half of the 1960s, starting with "Do It Now" b/w "(You Should Have Been A) Doctor" in 1963 on the Spokane Records label, which was picked up the following year by Wand Records. In 1964, Larry and Bessie decided to make a new push to establish her with a song that Larry had written specifically for the purpose of breaking her nationally: "Go Now."

Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller produced the recording, which initially appeared on their Tiger Records label before getting shifted to their new Blue Cat label, the R&B/soul imprint of their Red Bird label. The record did moderately well and even got released in England, but it was the song's fate that doomed Banks' chances for major national exposure. A Birmingham-spawned band called the Moody Blues did a version of "Go Now," driven by Denny Laine's tortured lead vocal, Mike Pinder's rippling piano, and beautiful harmonies -- as it was the era of the homegrown beat bands in England and the British Invasion in America, and the band's version was irresistible under the circumstances. The Moody Blues were given their first taste of international success, while Bessie Banks was forgotten by most listeners.

In subsequent years, she recorded singles for Verve Records and Volt Records, and was still releasing records as late as 1976 with "Baby You Sure Know How to Get to Me." Banks also reprised "Go Now" on a joint single with Linda Jones, and acquired a following in England with her single "The Best Is Yet to Come." Larry Banks passed away in the early '90s, but Bessie Banks, residing in New York, continued to sing occasionally right to the end of the decade. ~ Bruce Eder
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Leiber & Stoller Present: The Daisy / Tiger Records Story

x

Track List: One Kiss Can Lead To Another: Girl Group Sounds, Lost & Found

Disc 1

1. Needle In A Haystack

2. He's Got The Power

4. I'd Much Rather Be With The Girls

5. Keep Your Hands Off My Baby

7. You Don't Know

8. Boys

9. Big Bad World

10. Out In The Streets

11. Is It True

13. I'll Keep Holding On

14. Oh No Not My Baby

15. May My Heart Be Cast Into Stone

17. I Never Dreamed

18. He's A Bad Boy

20. Dream Boy

21. Try The Worryin' Way

22. I Can't Let Go

23. Go Now

24. You're No Good

26. Life And Soul Of The Party

29. He Did It

Disc 2

2. The Train From Kansas City

4. Let Me Get Close To You

5. I Have A Boyfriend

6. I'm Into Something Good

8. If There's Anything Else You Want (Let Me Know)

9. When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes

10. It Comes And Goes

11. Baby, Baby (I Still Love You)

12. Girl Don't Come

13. That's When The Tears Start

15. Don't Drop Out

16. The One You Can't Have

17. I'm Nobody's Baby Now

18. You're So Fine

19. When You're Young And In Love

20. My One And Only Jimmy Boy

22. Chico's Girl

23. Cause I Love Him

24. Bye Bye Baby

25. The First Cut Is The Deepest

27. Egyptian Shumba

28. I Sold My Heart To The Junkman

29. Walking In Different Circles

30. The Hideaway

Disc 3

1. The Trouble With Boys

3. Dream Baby

5. Should I Cry (Alternate Take)

6. I'm Blue (The Gong Gong Song)

7. I've Been Wrong Before

8. Love's Gone Bad

9. Nightmare

11. Will You Be My Love

12. Take Me For A Little While

13. Funnel Of Love

15. Terry

17. Sophisticated Boom Boom

19. Don't Ever Leave Me

20. Don't Forget About Me

22. Only To Other People

26. How Can I Tell My Mom & Dad

29. When I Think Of You

30. Good, Good Lovin'

Disc 4

1. When The Boy's Happy (The Girl's Happy Too)

2. Don't Drag No More

4. That's How It Goes

8. Steady Boyfriend

9. He Was Really Sayin' Somethin'

10. I Know You Love Me Not

11. Whatever Happened To Our Love

15. I Can't Wait Until I See My Baby's Face

16. Crying In The Rain

19. Hey, Tell Me Boy

20. Brink Of Disaster

21. Who Do You Love

23. They Never Taught That In School

24. Dressed In Black

25. Ain't Gonna Kiss Ya

27. Mister Loveman

28. Make The Night A Little Longer

x

Track List: Soul - Angel Of The Morning

1. Angel Of The Morning

2. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

3. The Boy From New York City

4. Stand By Me

5. Go Now

6. I Loves You Porgy

7. Rainy Night In Georgia

8. He Will Break Your Heart

9. Duke Of Earl

11. Chapel Of Love

12. Ya Ya

14. Lean On Me

15. Every Beat Of My Heart

17. Hercules

18. Over The Rainbow

20. It's Man's Man's Man's World (Live)

x

Track List: The Complete Stax - Volt Singles: 1972-1975, Volume 3 [10 Disc]

Disc 1

1. Yum Yum Yum (I Want Some)

2. Carry On

3. Do Your Thing

4. I've Been Lonely For So Long

5. Nothing Is Everlasting

6. Hearsay

7. Angel Of Mercy

8. In The Rain

9. She's My Old Lady Too

10. Explain It To Her Mama

11. Right On

13. My Honey And Me

15. Bring It Home (And Give It To Me)

16. Look Around You

17. Don't Do It/I'm With You

18. I'll Take You There

19. Which Way

20. Living A Life Without Love

21. What's Good For You (Don't Have To Be Good To You)

22. Let Me Repair Your Heart

24. I Wanna Make Up (Before We Break Up)

Disc 2

1. Ain't That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One)

2. Walking The Back Streets And Crying

3. Save Us

4. 6-3-8

5. Starting All Over Again

6. Keep On Loving Me

7. I'm Afraid The Masquerade Is Over

9. I Could Never Be Happy

10. Don't Take My Kindness For Weakness

12. I Dedicate My Life To You

13. Do The Sweetback

14. Gettin' Funky 'round Here

15. When The Chips Are Down

16. Sugar

17. You're Good Enough (To Be My Baby)

18. This World

19. Helping Man

20. Ain't I Good?

Disc 3

2. Dedicated To The One I Love

3. Toast To The Fool

4. Stop Doggin' Me

5. Trouble

6. I'm Gonna Cry A River

8. What Would I Do

10. Holy Cow

11. What Goes Around (Must Come Around)

13. Endlessly

14. You Hurt Me For The Last Time

16. Breaking Up Somebody's Home

17. How Can You Mistreat The One You Love

18. From Toys To Boys

20. I May Not Be All You Want (But I'm All You Got)

21. Ain't No Sweat

22. Do Me

23. Rainy Day

Disc 4

1. It Ain't Always What You Do (It's Who You Let See You Do It)

2. I May Not Be What You Want

5. Oh La De Da

6. What Do You See In Her?

7. A Thousand Miles Away

9. Rolling Down A Mountainside

10. You're Still My Brother

11. Stop Half Loving These Women

12. Lovin' On Borrowed Time

13. Lay Your Loving On Me

14. The Time

15. Heaven Knows

16. I Believe In You (You Believe In Me)

17. Short Stopping

18. Be What You Are

19. I've Got To Love Somebody's Baby

20. Playing On Me

21. Long As You're The One Somebody In The World

Disc 5

1. This Is My Song Of Love To You

3. Love Is A Hurtin' Thing

4. Baby, Lay Your Head Down (Gently On My Bed)

5. Check Me Out

6. Runnin' Back (And Forth)

7. Crossing Over The Bridge

8. Love's Maze

9. It Ain't Easy

10. Love Among People

11. What It Is

12. I've Got To Go On Without You

13. Love Is Taking Over

14. Ruby Dean

15. I'm So Glad I Fell In Love With You

16. Fell For You

17. Cheaper To Keep Her

18. I Know You Don't Want Me No More

19. If You're Ready (Come Go With Me)

20. Slipped And Tripped

21. Peace Be Still

22. I'll Be The Other Woman

Disc 6

1. The Martian Hop

2. I Had A Talk With My Man

3. At Last

5. Good Woman Turning Bad

8. I Wanna Do Things For You

9. That's What The Blues Is All About

10. One Way Love Affair

11. Tin Pan Alley

12. The Funky Bird

13. We're Getting Careless With Our Love

15. Season's Greetings

16. Don't Lose Faith In Me Lord

17. Don't Start Loving Me (If You're Gonna Stop)

18. Touch A Hand, Make A Friend

19. And I Panicked

Disc 7

1. Gettin' What You Want (Losin' What You Got)

2. He's Mine

3. My Woman Is Good To Me

4. I Got You And I'm Glad

5. Put A Little Love Away

6. Suzy

7. The Same Folks

8. You Make The Sunshine

9. The Whole Damn World Is Going Crazy

11. Wonderful

12. Behind Closed Doors

13. Guess Who

14. Dirty Tricks

16. Talking To The People

17. I've Been Born Again

18. Neckbone

19. Wounded Woman

20. Stop Doggin' Me

21. Goodness Gracious

Disc 8

1. City In The Sky

2. Title Theme

3. Soul Street

4. Flat Tire

5. Love Makes It Right

6. Mr. Cool That Ain't Cool

9. Get It While It's Hot

10. Passing Thru

11. Keep And Eye On Your Close Friends

12. My Main Man/There Is A God

13. That's The Way I Want To Live My Life

14. Forever And A Day

15. Baby, I'm Through

16. It's September

17. Woman To Woman

19. You Need A Friend Like Mine

20. I Love, I Love

21. Let Me Back In

Disc 9

1. Crosscut Saw

3. Bump Meat

4. (Too Little In Common To Be Lovers) Too Much Going To Say Goodbye

7. Who Made The Man

8. I Keep Thinking To Myself

9. I Got A Reason To Smile (Cause I Got You)

10. Try To Leave Me If You Can (I Bet You Can't Do It)

11. Burning On Both Ends

12. There Are More Questions Than Answers

14. I Can't Let You Go

15. I Betcha Didn't Know That

16. Lovin' You, Lovin' Me

17. Do The Double Bump

18. Come And Get Your Love

20. It Ain't No Fun

21. If You Talk In Your Sleep

22. Talk To The Man

Disc 10

1. You're Astounding

2. Dy-No-Mite (Did You Say My Love)

4. Come What May

5. Try Me Tonight

6. Groovin' On My Baby's Love

7. I Can't Shake Your Love (Can't Shake You Loose)

8. I Wanna Play With You

9. I'm Doing Fine

10. No Way (I Can Live Without You)

11. Back Road Into Town

12. I'm So Glad I Met You

13. Packed Up And Took My Mind

15. How Can I Be A Witness

17. I Got To Be Myself

18. It's Worth A Whippin'

x

Track List: The Red Bird Girls: Very First Time In True Stereo 1964-1966

1. The Dum Dum Ditty

2. The Kind Of Boy You Can't Forget

4. Go Now

5. You Don't Know

6. I Can't Let Go

7. He's So Easy To Love

8. I Know He Loves Me

9. No True Love

10. I'm Just A Down Home Girl

11. I Wonder

13. Another Boy Like Mine

14. Take Me For A Little While

15. Welcome To My Heart

16. The Hideaway

17. Sugar Boy

18. Gee Baby Gee

19. How Fine Can One Guy Be

20. Call Me His

x

Track List: The Red Bird Story

Disc 1

1. Bossa Nova Baby

2. Big Bad World

4. He Ain't No Angel

5. Go Now

6. Don't Think My Baby's Coming Back

7. Chapel Of Love

9. I Wanna Love Him So Bad

10. I Know He Loves Me

12. People Say

13. Remember (Walking' In The Sand)

15. Fever

16. Down Home Girl

17. Baby Be Mine

18. You Should Have Seen The Way He Looked At Me

19. Leader Of The Pack

20. Talk To Me, Baby

21. I Wonder

22. Little Bell

23. Gee, Baby, Gee

24. The Boy From New York City

27. I'm Gonna Put Some Hurt On You

28. Iko, Iko

29. Out In The Streets

Disc 2

3. Hold On Baby

4. Bad As They Come

5. He Ain't No Angel

6. Give Us Your Blessings

7. Welcome To My Heart

8. The Dum Dum Ditty

9. Gee, The Moon Is Shining Bright

10. Take Me For A Little While

12. You Don't Know

14. If There's Anything Else You Want (Let Me Know)

15. I Hear You Say (I Love You Baby)

17. I Know It's All Right

18. I Can't Let Go

19. I'm Just A Down Home Girl

20. Sophisticated Boom Boom

21. I Hurt On The Other Side

22. Fugitive From Love

23. Doo Wah Diddy

24. You Hit Me Like Tnt

28. Past, Present And Future

Disc 3

6. Amy

7. Another Boy Like Mine

8. Standing By

13. Memory Lane Without You

14. Ask Anybody

16. It Sounds Like My Baby

20. Come Back Baby

26. Johnny My Boy

27. All Grown Up

28. Wrong Direction

x

Track List: The Scene Club: Ham Yard, London 1963-66

1. I've Got A Claim On You

2. Let Love Go By

3. Question

4. I Need Your Lovin'

5. Let The Good Times Roll

6. A Fool In Love

8. Ain't That Loving You Baby

9. Let's Stick Together

10. Iko Iko

11. See About Me

12. Alvin's Boo-Ga-Loo

13. Ol' Man River

14. Billy's Bag

15. Just For You

16. Who Can I Run To

17. I'll Take One

18. A Song Called Soul

19. Land Of 1,000 Dances

20. Jaywalking

21. Shake A Tail Feather

22. I'm A Lover Not A Fighter

23. Oh Mom (Teach Me How To Uncle Willie)

24. Over And Over

25. Mister Bang Bang Man

26. Housewive's Choice

27. Confidential

28. Go Now

Comments

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I luv this song this is what played for my boyfriend of 8 years.

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