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Thursday, January 22, 2009
GINO WASHINGTON - PUPPET ON A STRING
Since I didn't have a chance to post yesterday, here's a double whammy to make up for it! (Also, I posted the later version of this track about a year ago, so this is somewhat of a duplicate entry).
Detroit wildman Gino Washington released far too few records, as he was drafted around 1964. This was his first, and he recut both sides in 1964. This original cut is absolutely stunning.
Featured on backing vocals are a young female group called the Primettes. The backing vocal arrangement is out of this world (um "Out Of This World" is the name of another Gino Washington jam. Pun intended.) and the "Gino!" interjections are some of the coolest backing vocals I've ever heard. Shortly after this record was cut, the Primettes were renamed the Supremes. You may notice that the dominant voice is NOT the fey cooing of Diana Ross, but the rich, soulful voice of Florence Ballard, the REAL voice of the Supremes, who died so tragically and without the recognition she deserved (read about it here: http://www.findadeath.com/Deceased/b/Florence%20Ballard/florence_ballard.htm).
This record took me a LONG time to find, as it's in demand by northern soul hounds, girl group fanatics and Detroit music fans. I am all of the above! I had to settle for a less than clean copy, but after another painstaking skip removal it sounds just fine. This is a masterpiece of a record.