State of Illinois
90th General Assembly

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 1                          HOUSE RESOLUTION
 2        WHEREAS, The State of Illinois and its citizens  wish  to
 3    express their sympathy to the family of Ralph Bass; and
 4        WHEREAS,  Ralph  Bass  was born in the Bronx, New York on
 5    May 1, 1911; his parents were Lena and Ralph Bass Sr.;  Ralph
 6    Bass  spent his early years in New York City and received his
 7    education in the city; and
 8        WHEREAS, During a visit to the southern states as a young
 9    man, Ralph Bass visited a dance club and experienced  a  form
10    of music that would change his life and set the direction for
11    his future work as a record producer; he discovered that this
12    music with which he so mysteriously connected was called "the
13    Blues"; observing the hypnotic power the music seemed to have
14    on  its  listeners, Ralph was determined to bring the rest of
15    the world the delight that the music brought to his own soul;
16    and
17        WHEREAS, When Ralph Bass began his career in  the  record
18    business,   black  performers  and  black  music  were  still
19    struggling to find acceptance in  mainstream  America;  black
20    performers  were  basically  relegated to all-black audiences
21    through a network of theatres and nightclubs  known  as  "The
22    Chitlin'  Circuit";  the performers would travel from town to
23    town, often sleeping in their traveling vans or buses because
24    they were refused hotel rooms because of the color  of  their
25    skin; it was against this backdrop that Ralph, a young Jewish
26    man  from  the Bronx, decided to make his impact on the world
27    and humanity; and
28        WHEREAS, As a record producer, Ralph Bass became  one  of
29    the  pioneers  in bringing black music to its proper place in
30    the American mainstream; he helped to shape  the  careers  of
31    such  great luminaries as Etta James, Sam Cooke, James Brown,
32    Earl Bostic, The Platters, The Dominoes, and many  others  as
                            -2-                LRB9006194KBkb
 1    well;  Ralph  was successful because he believed in the music
 2    and in the people who produced it; for his efforts, Ralph was
 3    inducted as a member into the Rock 'n Roll Hall  of  Fame  in
 4    1994; and
 5        WHEREAS,  On December 17, 1960, Ralph Bass married dancer
 6    and choreographer Shirley Hall of Chicago, Illinois,  at  the
 7    home of her parents; she invited him to the Bahamas, and like
 8    his  wife,  he immediately fell in love with the islands; the
 9    couple built a home there in 1965 and  together  spent  their
10    time between Chicago and Nassau; and
11        WHEREAS,  Ralph  Bass was a great supporter of his wife's
12    tireless work with  the  development  of  The  Bahamas  Dance
13    Theater,  and  played an active role in the numerous cultural
14    exchanges between the Bahamian students and American students
15    from The Sammy Dyer School of the Theater in  Chicago;  Ralph
16    was  well-loved  by  the  hundreds  of students of The Bahama
17    Dance Theater and was affectionately called "Daddy  Cool"  by
18    them; and
19        WHEREAS,  Ralph  Bass  believed in the brotherhood of all
20    men and sought  to  involve  himself  in  those  things  that
21    encouraged  unity among people; he was generous in spirit and
22    worked to extract from others the good and  beautiful  things
23    that  they  had  to offer; the whole world is a little better
24    because of the music and the songs that Ralph had  worked  so
25    diligently for us to hear; he will long be remembered for his
26    pioneering  work  in  the music industry, but more so for his
27    belief in a people and their music; and
28        WHEREAS, Ralph Bass completed his life's work and  passed
29    into  eternity  on  Wednesday  March 5, 1997; he passed as he
30    lived, peacefully; he shared his final moments in the company
31    of Shirley, his wife and soulmate of 36 years; and
32        WHEREAS, Ralph and Shirley  adopted  one  daughter,  Mrs.
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 1    Joey  Fox-Stevenson  and  he  has  two  sons  from a previous
 2    marriage: Dennis and Michael; in addition, he is survived  by
 3    his   grandchildren   Alexis,   Scott,  and  Todd  Bass;  his
 4    daughter-in-law Jenny Bass; his son-in-law Gregory Stevenson;
 5    his three sisters Virginia, Julie, and  Evelyn;  his  brother
 6    Leonard; many nieces and nephews including Heather Silverman;
 7    his  close  friends  Henrietta  Redd  and  Fred  Parnell; the
 8    students and faculty of The Sammy Dyer School of the  Theater
 9    and The Bahamas Dance Theater,  numerous friends in the music
10    business,  both  in  Chicago  and the Bahamas; in addition to
11    many other relatives and friends; therefore, be it
14    mourn, along with his family and friends, the death of  music
15    producer Ralph Bass; and be it further
16        RESOLVED,  That  a  suitable  copy  of this resolution be
17    presented to the family of Ralph Bass along with our  deepest
18    condolences.

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