Baby Washington

Baby Washington bigraphy, stories - American singer

Baby Washington : biography

November 13, 1940 –

Justine Washington (born November 13, 1940), usually credited as Baby Washington, but credited on some early records as Jeanette (Baby) Washington, is an American soul music vocalist, who had 16 rhythm and blues chart entries in 15 years, most of them during the 1960s. Her biggest hit, "That’s How Heartaches Are Made" in 1963, also entered the US top 40.


Chart singles

Note: Credited as Baby Washington unless stated otherwise.

Year Single Chart Positions
1959 "The Time" 22
"The Bells (On Our Wedding Day)" 20
1961 "Nobody Cares (About Me)"(Jeanette (Baby) Washington) 60 17
1962 "Handful of Memories" 16
1963 "That’s How Heartaches Are Made" 40 10
"Leave Me Alone" 62 21
"Hey Lonely One" 100 n/aBillboard did not publish an R&B chart between November 1963 and January 1965
1964 "I Can’t Wait Until I See My Baby"(Justine Washington) 93 n/a
"The Clock" 100 n/a
"It’ll Never Be Over For Me" 98 n/a
1965 "Only Those In Love" 73 10
1969 "I Don’t Know" 35
1973 "Forever"(Baby Washington & Don Gardner) 30
"Just Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind" 76
"I’ve Got To Break Away" 32
1975 "Can’t Get Over Losing You" 88


  • I’ve Got A Feeling (June 2005) Released by Stateside Records [Many songs featured are on CD for the first time with this release.]

Life and career

Washington was born in Bamberg, South Carolina, and raised in Harlem, New York. In 1956, she joined the vocal group The Hearts, and also recorded for J & S Records as a member of The Jaynetts ("I Wanted To Be Free" / "Where Are You Tonight", J&S 1765/6). She first recorded solo, as Baby Washington, in 1957, on "Everyday" (J&S 1665).

In 1958 she signed to Donald Shaw’s Neptune Records as a solo performer, and established herself as a soul singer with two hits in 1959: "The Time" (U.S. R&B #22) and "The Bells" (U.S. R&B # 20). She followed up with the hit "Nobody Cares" (U.S. R&B # 17) in 1961. Several of her singles on the Neptune and ABC labels were credited to Jeanette (Baby) Washington, which later led to confusion with an entirely different singer known as Jeanette Washington.Baby Washington recorded several songs early in her career under the name "Jeanette Washington", which has led her to be confused with a younger funk vocalist who recorded under the same name. Early in her career, Washington also recorded a song as a member of The Jaynetts. Below are singles recorded under the name Jeanette Washington:

  • The Jaynetts (feat. Jeanette Washington & The Hearts): "I Wanted To Be Free" / "Where Are You Tonight" (1958 J&S, 1765/6)
  • Baby Washington: "The Time" / "You Never Could Be Mine" (1959, Neptune 101)
  • Jeanette B. Washington: "Medicine Man" / "Tears Fell" (August 1960, Neptune 120)
  • Jeanette (Baby) Washington: "Too Late" / "Move On" (December 1960, Neptune 121)
  • Jeanette (Baby) Washington (with background vocals by The De Vaurs): "Nobody Cares (About Me)" * / "Money’s Funny" (March 1961, Neptune 122)
  • Jeanette (Baby) Washington: "Let Love Go By" / "My Time To Cry" (May 1961, ABC Paramount 10223)
  • Jeanette (Baby) Washington: "There You Go Again" / "Don’t Cry, Foolish Heart" (September 1961, ABC Paramount 10245)

She signed with ABC Paramount in 1961, but her two releases for the label were not hits, although the self-written "Let Love Go By" later became a notable Northern Soul single. Washington then moved to Juggy Murray’s Sue Records in 1962, scoring her only entry on the U.S. Billboard Top 40 with "That’s How Heartaches Are Made" in 1963. 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", co-written by Chip Taylor and Jerry Ragovoy, and "Careless Hands", penned by Billy Myles.

Washington revived her career in the early 1970s covering The Marvelettes’ "Forever", (# 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. She has never experienced great crossover recognition, although Dusty Springfield once cited Washington as her all-time favorite singer and recorded "I Can’t Wait Until I See My Baby’s Face".. Retrieved 18 January 2013

Washington is still active as a live performer, appearing several times a year on the East Coast and performing on cruise ships. She also performed at the Prestatyn Soul Weekender festival in Wales in 2004.. Retrieved 18 January 2012 She performed with the Enchanters at a Philadelphia-area show in March 2008, and in Baltimore in June 2008. Washington was among the 2008 honorees in Community Works’ Ladies Singing the Blues music series.