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He was born in Marianna, Florida, United States. He moved with his family in 1944 to Detroit.Como guitarist of his local group with Joe Weaver and the Bluenotes, won talent contests, and locally supported by Big Joe Turner and Ruth Brown.
In 1958, Bassett enlists in the US Army, but on his return to Detroit with Bluenotes worked as session musicians for Fortune Records.Durante this time provided accompaniment to Nolan Strong & The Diablos and Andre Williams.Más later supported the Miracles in a short stay at Chess Records, working on their debut single, "Got a Job" (1958) .In Detroit concerts, Bassett shared the stage with John Lee Hooker, Alberta Adams, Lowell Fulson and Dinah Washington.