Archive for the ‘Baby Washington’ Category

Baby Washington

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Listen: Hey Lonely One /Baby Washington
Hey Lonely One / Baby Washington

Born Justine Washington in 1940, Baby Washington began her recording career in ’56 as a member of The Hearts, but within a year, was confusing folks by issuing singles as both Justin Washington and Jeanette Washington. By the time she signed with Juggy Murray’s Sue Records in ’62, Baby Washington had settled in as her best known professional identity. Well, except for two of those sixteen Sue releases, when for whatever reason, Sue 797 (’63) and Sue 124 (’65) were issued as Justine Washington. Go figure.

Possible reason being, as Baby Washington, she may have had trouble getting live bookings. From what I witnessed yesterday when Baby Washington made a rare NYC appearance, she probably blew away all the competition on any of those stages back then. Even now, at 70 years old, it takes a lot of balls to follow her. Seriously, her poise and confidence were impeccable. She looked beautiful and then there was the voice. Do not miss her if you get the chance.

Luckily, through the years, I’ve managed to collect all but three of her US 7′s. Not a weak one in the bunch, plus it’s pretty hard for this completist to pass up anything on Sue. Far too many peaked at #90 or below on Billboard’s Top 100. Even more didn’t chart at all. God bless America is not applicable when it comes to Baby Washington.

‘Hey Lonely One’ (or ‘Hey Lonely’ as the early DJ copies read) spent one lonely week at #100 on 10/12/63. It wasn’t included in her all too short set yesterday, probably due to it being less familiar. I like to think it was out of her mercy for others on the bill.