Go Now - Bessie Banks(1964) Seq/kar by Geoff Carter

Geoffrey Carter

Bessie Banks (born February 8, 1938)[1] is an American soul singer, best known for her original 1964 recording of "Go Now," successfully covered in the same year by UK band the Moody Blues.

She was born Bessie White in New Bern, North Carolina, and later raised in Brooklyn, New York City. In the mid-1950s, she began singing with a quartet called Three Guys and a Doll. While a member of the group, she met singer Larry Banks; they married on stage at the Royal Theatre in Baltimore around 1955. She performed and recorded as Toni Banks during the mid-1950s, including the 1957 single "You're Still in My Heart", on which she was backed by the Four Fellows. In 1959, she and Larry recorded as members of the Companions, releasing a single "Why Oh Why Baby" on the Federal label.

Taking back the name Bessie Banks, she recorded as a solo singer in the first half of the 1960s, starting with "Do It Now" in 1963 on the Spokane Records label. The single reached #40 on the Billboard R&B chart in March 1964.[4] Although she and Larry Banks separated and later divorced, they continued to work together. In late 1963, 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 first appeared on their Tiger Records label (catalog number TI-102). It was slated for issue on the Blue Cat label (as BC-106), the R&B/soul imprint of Red Bird. The song was arranged by Gary Sherman, with Cissy Houston as one of the backing singers.[2]