Oldies But Goodies Cruise IISailing to the Mexican Riviera October 6-13, 2013
Internationally renowned Abbey Road recreates the magic, music; wit and charm of the Beatles, including the Fab Four's cheeky personalities, familiar onstage banter and patter between songs. With their tight harmonies, flawless note for note renditions of Beatles hits, custom–tailored costumes, vintage instruments, Liverpudlian dialect and precise attention to every detail. Abbey Road has honed their show to become one of the most musically and visually satisfying Beatle tribute acts in the world today.
Abbey Road takes the Beatle experience and beyond, with authentic early black Beatle suits, Sgt. Pepper's regalia and Abbey Road attire. Hear the piccolo trumpet solo on Penny Lane and the full orchestration of A Day in the Life. Relive the emotional intensity of Paul's moving Yesterday solo, as well as the high-energy of stadium songs like Twist and Shout plus many other Beatle hits.
Justine grew up raised in Harlem and started her singing career with Zelma “Zell” Sanders, who ran the fabled J & S, Scatt, Dice and Zell’s logos. She was by all accounts a hard working woman entrepreneur and formidable matriarch who controlled the artists. She managed with the tough love of a strict parent, sometimes fining or sacking them on the spot if they broke her rules. Before entering the record business, she toiled by day as a security guard in Harlem, while by night she wrote songs and dreamed of becoming a rhythm and blues mogul.
The group with which “Zell” Sanders got her start in the music biz comprised four girls collectively known as the Hearts. While Justine “Baby” Washington is their most celebrated one time member, she is just one of over twenty vocalists who passed through their ranks. At one time or another, the group also included, in approximate chronology: Louise (Harris) Murray, Hazel Crutchfield, Forestine Barnes, Joyce West, Thaddus McLean, Anna Barnhill. Theresa Chatman, Joyce Peterson, Ann King, Betty Crews, Mandy Hopper, Lezli Green, Mary Green, Ruth Artis, Marie Hood, Cynthia Cox, Yvonne Bushnell, Johnnie Louise Richardson, Mary Jefferson, Lavergne Ray and sundry of others.
Many of these young women also waxed for Zell Sanders as members of other groups and as soloists, but this particular collection focuses only on recordings bearing the names the Hearts, as released on J & S, Tuff and Zell’s. While many of Zell’s recording sessions were non-union affairs, inspired playing often captured. Witnessed by the wild sax and guitar solos on tracks like “You Needn’t Tell Me”, “I Know” and “I Want Your Love Tonight”, thought to be the handiwork of Sam “The Man” Taylor and Mickey Baker, respectively. Elsewhere, the Hearts’ long-serving pianist and arranger, Rex Garvin, featured prominently on many of their recordings.
In 1956 and becoming a solo artist the following year for the J&S labels. But within a year, she was confusing folks by issuing singles as both Justin Washington and Jeanette Washington. When she signed with Juggy Murray’s Sue Records in 1962, Baby Washington had settled in as her best known professional identity. Well, except for two of those sixteen Sue releases, when for whatever reason, “I Can't Wait Until I See My Baby's Face” and “Who's Going To Take Care Of Me” were issued as Justine Washington. This may have been a reason why she was having some difficulty getting live bookings as Baby Washington.
She built a career with 16 chart entries during a decade and a half, most of them during the late 50’s and early 60s. She recording in New York first for Donald Shaw’s Neptune label and then for Juggy Murray’s Sue Records label. Two years later, she hit again on the U.S. R&B Top 10 with "Only Those In Love". Among her other Sue recordings were "I Can't Wait Until I See My Baby's Face", written by Jerry Ragovoy, and "Careless Hands", written by Billy Myles.
Justine proved herself as a major R&B singer recording “The Time” (US R&B Top 30) and “The Bells” (US R&B Top 20), both in 1959, and “Nobody Cares” (US R&B Top 20) in 1961. Moving to Sue Records in 1962, Washington hit the US national Top 40 with the sublime “That’s How Heartaches Are Made” (1963) and the US R&B Top 10 with “Only Those In Love” (1965). Washington revived her career in the early 70s, recording in Philadelphia a duet with Don Gardner, a revival of the Marvelettes. Their song “Forever” pecked at number 30 on the R&B charts. Also another solo release “I’ve Got To Break Away” pecked at number 73, including a well-received album. The coming of disco in the mid 70s effectively hindered her career, as it didthose of many R&B artists.
Washington revived her career in the early 1970s covering The Marvelettes' "Forever", (number 30 R&B) as a duet with Don Gardner. Her solo release, "I've Got To Break Away", made number 73 on the R&B charts, after which the advent of disco led to a decline in her popularity. Washington has never experienced great crossover recognition.
Washington is still active as a live performer, appearing a few times a year on the East Coast and was among the 2008 honorees in Community Works' Ladies Singing the Blues music series. Recently Baby Washington made a rare NYC appearance and blew away all the competition. Even now, at 70 years old, it takes a lot of fortitude for a performer to follow her. Baby’s poise and confidence are impeccable.