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- Posted on Sep 22nd 2010 10:30AM by Gaylord Fields
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One scheduled performer who has all but sworn to make an indelible impression on the Ponderosa Stomp 2010 crowd is Sugar Pie DeSanto. Best known for her mid-'60s soul sides for Chess, including 'Slip-In Mules,' 'Soulful Dress' and her duets with R&B legend Etta James, 'In the Basement' and 'Do I Make Myself Clear,' the petite yet powerful-voiced blues belter has been wowing crowds since being part of the James Brown Revue as a youngster 50 years ago.
Even though she confesses to being worried about lingering jet lag after flying in from her San Francisco Bay Area home, DeSanto promises to be more than ready once she hits the Pondersa Stomp stage. "I guess I'll mess around and raise them from their feet," she tells Spinner. "I'm a go-getter. There isn't a moment when i don't move. I'm just like a youngster. I get excited to entertain.
"They can expect me to dance my can off – turn a backflip, maybe," she adds, astonishingly. As to why DeSanto is slightly coy about absolutely guaranteeing one of her famous onstage somersaults with that "maybe," she does offer this reminder: "Well, I'll be 75 next month."
The 4-foot-11 DeSanto, born Umpeylia Balinton to an African-American mother and a Filipino father, admits to having learned a thing or two about showmanship during her stint with the Godfather of Soul. And she promises to have her fans astounded by both her singing and her stagecraft during her high-octane show.
She says she'll leave the Ponderosa Stomp throng wondering, "'Oh, no, she didn't turn a backflip! No, she didn't grab that man and jumped up and locked her legs around his waist and hung upside-down!'
"There are a lot of things I can do."
Although it's a rare septuagenarian who can present an act that would make most grown men blush, DeSanto makes no apologies for putting the "blue" in rhythm & blues with her adults-only antics. "I'm a little risque sometimes, but they just have to figure that out," she warns. "They've been calling me risque for years. All my life I've been feisty."
X-rated act notwithstanding, DeSanto is still all lady and does admit to a bit of modesty if and when she executes her infamous stage gymnastics at the Ponderosa Stomp 2010.
"I'll make sure that [I'm] covered," she reassures. "I'm gonna wear a gown, but I'm gonna wear something protective underneath. I'm making sure it's black so you can't see nothing. It'll be all in their mind."