Monday, June 16, 2008

Handfull of Memories

Today's post title comes from a song on an old LP I bought this weekend...

Baby Washington's "Handful of Memories"

Most people I know have never heard of R&B Hall of Fame member Baby Washington, ( aka Justine Washington) which is kind of a shame really. Baby was a great R&B soul singer of the 50's & 60's, but one who never really cracked into the top 40.

She started back in the Doo-Wopping days circa 1956 as a member of The Hearts, a vocal group outta Harlem, but didn't score a solo "hit" until 1959 with "the Time" on the Neptune label, a song she wrote. While 12 of her records hit the R&B charts, none were big enough to build her a permanent position in the pop pantheon.

Apparently Dusty Springfield named her as her fave vocalist, and Dusty made the charts with "Breakfast In Bed" (from the classic Dusty in Memphis album), which although written by southerners Eddie Hinton & Donnie Fritts, was originally considered one of Baby's tunes, released first on Cotillion.


She placed a few in the lower echelons of the hit parade, her biggest being the ballad "That's How Heartaches Are Made" which barely hit #40 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963. By then she was recording for Sue Records, who released a few more attempts, but as musical tastes changed, Baby faded into obscurity. She attempted a comeback in the early 70's, but disco delivered a definitive death knell to the classic soul sounds of the 60's.

I'm pleased to report, Baby has been getting a late career renaissance, apparently is still performing on the east coast, and I for one would love a chance to see her sing...

I originally got hipped to her via the WFMU blog awhile back, and when I stumbled across an out of print "Best Of" LP, I went for it...

In fact I went back for it...because I had cold feet the first time I saw it...

When I stumbled out the store clutching the 12x12 cover everyone asked me what it was, then shrugged their shoulders...

Anyhow, here's a hard to find track for yer perusal

Baby Washington - "Handfull of Memories"

Here's a Baby Washington track that was out of print for decades before resurfacing on the excellent Atlantic Soul Sisters Unearthed compilation put out by Rhino a couple years back...


Baby Washington - What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted

Let's end the Baby fest with this one, that track WFMU's Brian Turner posted in Sept 2005 from her UK import I've got A Feeling Collection that got me psyched for her voice in da first place...

Baby Washington - Think About The Good Times



psst...

hey ?

y'all still here?

Speaking of reliving some good times & memories...

With good intentions paving the way to bar hopping hell, a friend and I headed out and intended to catch New Orleans' mighty Rebirth Brass Band this weekend, but little did we know both nights were sold out....

Go figger...

I mean that's cool and all, but I had no idea the kids were so hip to them these days...

Who knew the generation raised on robotic raver beats, Mariah Carey moaning & retardo rock like Daughtry & Matchbox 20 might actually figger the Ol' New Orleans funky brass thing out...

We had to stumble up and down into bars on the side streets of da Western Addition while a long line of Gen Y hipsters and what looked like jam bandabouts were boppin' out to da Rebirth inside The Independent.

I first saw them about 17 years ago, when they were shipped out here for New Years Eve 1991...and since then, every few years either catch them here, or always make a point to drop by the Maple Leaf in Nawlins when in town...

Here's some stuff for those of yaz... who might need a refresher course...

Rebirth Brass Band - Do Whatcha Wanna

In case you don't know, this next track is an old Ray Charles track, but updated with that Nawlins brass sound. Kermit Ruffins is a former member of the ReBirth Brass Band whose gone off on his own, but here they reunite on their joint album "Throwback" from Basin St Records...

Kermit Ruffins & The Rebirth Brass Band - I Got A Woman

ThrowbackKermit Ruffins with the Rebirth Brass Band
"I Got A Woman" (mp3)
from "Throwback"
(Basin Street)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at eMusic
Stream from Rhapsody
Buy at Amazon
More On This Album




I also shoulda gone to see the great Bettye LaVette & Booker T for free lasterday afternoon at Stern Grove, but decided to head to the North Beach Festival instead...

Actually by the time I remembered Bettye & Booker T were playing I was already at The North Beach Festival, and there wasn't no way, no how, I woulda made it in time to catch Ms.LaVette...

Doh!


Here's Miss Bettye LaVette from Muskegon Mi with an obscure oldie she recorded for Detroit's Lupine label in the 60's long before her 2005 Anti/Epitaph records release had her career rejuvenated and her great soulful voice rediscovered...

Betty LaVette- Witchcraft In the Air


0 peanut gallery sez::