Baby Washington

Justine (Baby) Washington is an American soul artist who topped the U.S Billard Top 40 Hits charts with the hit song "That's How Heartaches are Made" in the early 1960's. Before Baby Washington was a solo act she recorded with J&S Records as a member of the Jaynetts and before that was a member of the Hearts. She signed with ABC Paramount in 1961, but Washington's career had little to none recognition with this record company. Many of her songs as a soloist were not given any appreciation until she signed with Juggy Murray's company, Sue Records in 1961. During Washington's time at Sue's she topped the R&B Top 10 with "Only Those in Love." Baby Washington would go on to score the R&B Top 10 list over the 15 years of her career.

Influences to Other Genres

Baby Washington’s music often bleeds into the genre of Soul. She is renowned for her voice which is the perfectly epitomized uptown soul. Washington is actually an R&B artist, particularly in her prime years (the 1960’s). She has influenced Soul greatly and has helped shaped the unique sound that Soul beholds.

Social Implications

Around this time for African Americans, the 1950s and 1960s, the North was steadily advancing even though discrimination had yet to disappear. R&B proved to help the steadily increasing status of the Africa American as many whites loved the sound of R&B directly from the mouth of an African American artist. More and more African American artist, in the North, started to gain fame during this time period due to the popularity/demand of their music. This caused many record labels to open in the North, especially in Chicago on a street named South Michigan Avenue.

Commodification

R&B was in high demand in in the North around the 1950s-60s. An abundant amount of record labels opened to capitalize on African American artist’s voices and to make money off of them. 

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Summary

Justine (Baby) Washington is a very powerful singer, though she has been underrated throughout her career. Through her short period of recognition, Baby has given alot to the genre of R&B even being rewarded the Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award. Baby contiues to this day to be a key piece to the success of R&B.