This Saturday, 78-year-old Bay Area soul music legend Sugar Pie DeSanto is making a return appearance to the stage at Hard French for a late-afternoon performance that shouldn't be missed. DeSanto previously appeared at Hard French's Pride Party in 2012, and now she's back, taking the stage at the hip-kid, soul-music party at 5:30 p.m.
Sugar Pie DeSanto was born Umpeylia Marsema Balinton in Brooklyn, but grew up in San Francisco and befriended Etta James here in 1950s. She earned the nickname “Little Miss Dynamite” for her small stature and big stage presence, and became known for hits like "Soulful Dress," "Slip In Mules," and "I Don’t Wanna Fuss" as well as for her duets with Etta James like “In The Basement” and “Do I Make Myself Clear.” DeSanto is the subject of an in-progress documentary titled Bittersweet, which chronicles her role as one of the most successful Filipino American performers of all-time.
Above you can see her performing the song "Rock Me Baby" in England in 1964.
Tickets for Hard French can be purchased at the door at El Rio (3158 Mission Street) for $12, but get there early (pre-2 p.m.). Advance tickets are sold out.