Dubbed "the little gal with the big voice" by legendary disc jockey Alan Freed, Faye Adams was one of the pioneers of R&B, drawing on the expressive power of gospel music to create a series of deeply moving and poignant records that pointed the way for the emergence of soul. She was born Fay Tuell in Newark, New Jersey circa 1925 -- the daughter of David Tuell, a gospel singer and one of the key figures behind the Church Of God In Christ (COGIC) movement that would later spawn the likes of Billy Preston and Edwin Hawkins. At the age of five she joined her siblings to sing spirituals as the Tuell Sisters, regularly appearing on Newark radio broadcasts. After marrying future manager Tommy Scruggs in 1942, Tuell slowly but surely migrated toward secular music, and by the early 1950s she was a staple of the New York City nightclub circuit; while performing in Atlanta, she was discovered by fellow R&B great Ruth Brown, who suggested she contact Atlantic Records president Herb Abramson. Tuell quickly returned to New York to audition, and Abramson immediately installed her with Joe Morris & His Blues Cavalcade, whose previous featured singer, Laurie Tate, had recently resigned to raise a family. Tuell joined Morris on tour and in late 1952 the group entered the studio, where she made her recorded debut on the novelty "That's What Makes My Baby Fat."