Sally Fingerett is best known as a member of the Bitchin' Babes, an all-female folk-pop group founded by humorous singer/songwriter Christine Lavin in 1990. A craftsmanlike songwriter and possessor of an emotion-tinged soprano voice, Fingerett has been nearly as effective on her own. Her song "Home Is Where the Heart Is" was featured during latter-day concerts by Peter, Paul and Mary, while her three solo albums have showcased her warm vocal style and heartfelt lyricism.
Fingerett, who grew up on the South Side of Chicago, became enchanted by the Lincoln Avenue singer/songwriter scene in the shadow of the University of Illinois at Chicago campus. Inspired by Steve Goodman and John Prine, she wrote her first song, "Rock-a-Line Caroline," at the age of 23. Although Fingerett moved to Nashville in 1978 to sing lead for the all-female bluegrass group the Buffalo Gals, she returned to Chicago a year later and began performing as a soloist on the coffeehouse circuit. Her debut solo album, Enclosed, was released in 1983. Fingerett's song "Wild Berries" was included on the Christine Lavin-compiled album On a Winter's Night.
Shortly after moving to Columbus, Ohio, Fingerett was invited to join, along with Meghon McDonough and Patty Larkin (later replaced by Debi Smith), a group being started by Lavin. The group's first tour was billed as Buy Me Buy Me Bring Me Take Me: Don't Mess My Hair... Life According to Four Bitchin' Babes. A live-in-concert album with the same name was released in 1990. The same year, Fingerett won the prestigious New Folk Award at the Kerrville Folk Festival. Fingerett's second solo album, Unraveled, was released in 1992. The same year, her debut album was reissued on CD. Her third album, Ghost Town Girl, was released the following year.
In 1993, Fingerett and the Bitchin' Babes, joined by singer/songwriter Julie Gold, released their second album and first studio recording, Four Bitchin' Babes, Vol. 2. Fingerett encountered severe vocal problems in 1994, suffering from idiopathic nerve paralysis, which began with tracheal bronchitis in February. Although she was unable to sing until July, she continued to tour with the Bitchin' Babes with guest vocalists singing her songs. She recovered in time to record the group's third album, Out of the Mouths of Babes (aka Gabby Road), with Lavin replaced by witty singer/songwriter Camille West. Fingerett's vocals have also been featured in jingles for White Castle, Wendy's, Sears, and Hallmark. She issued My Good Company in 1998; A Woman's Gotta Do Her Thing followed in 2004. ~ Craig Harris