Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Sugar Pie DeSanto Sliced It Up In San Francisco
She began winning talent shows up and down Fillmore Street in San Francisco at 18, when she weighed just 85 pounds, wore size 3 shoes and went by her given name, Umpeylia Marsema Balinton.
Her first hit 'I Want to Know', in 1959, rose to number 3 on the Billboard charts. She sang with greats like Etta James, opened for James Brown and took on a stage name given her by Johnny Otis, 'Sugar Pie' DeSanto. Now at age 78, she lives in Oakland and still sings the blues.
A film about Sugar Pie DeSanto’s life called Bittersweet is in production, and she performed Sunday July 13, 2014, at the Stern Grove Music Festival in San Francisco (above).
On July 10, 2014 Sugar Pie visited the radio studios of KALW in San Francisco for an interview. Listen HERE