She was the eternal talent: Billboard called her »young & talented« from around 1968 to 1972, and in 1973 she retired from secular music. A reborn Christian, Ella Wash- ington (Cobbs) said »Like I'm not putting down R&B, soul or whatever you want to call it, but gospel is so much more meaningful ... I'm not saying anything bad about rock, it was good to me, but it was all My Baby Left Me, Another Man's Wife and so on. It kind of lost relevance for me anyway.«
|Ella Washington & John Richbourg (both photos from BB, Dec. 21, 1968)|
|BB Nov. 23, 1968, p. 29|
|Photos from the back cover of her self-titled SS7 LP: Ella Washington at the recording studio,|
to the left with Allen Orange & Bob Wilson, to the right with John Richbourg.
Soulscape CD # SSCD 7014, together with the other SS7 recordings (some hitherto unissued) and a fine booklet by John Ridley (see his webpage here). My LP (a promo copy) has the stereo mixes, so it nicely supplements the CD. The obvious choice of what I would be posting tonight from this LP are two songs, viz. »Sit Down And Cry« (a Clyde Otis tune) and »All The Time« (a Mel Tillis tune). First, these two wonderful songs were never released as 45s. Second, and more importantly, they are just plain great soul ballads and very much define the best of what Ella was recording in the late '60s ... or rather, what any female artist was recording, really.
Ella Washington: »Sit Down And Cry« / »All The Time« from the Sound Stage 7 LP # 15007 (1969):
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NOTE. For more information on John Richbourg, read also Nelson George's thoughtful remembrance in Billboard's »The Rhythm & The Blues« column in the April 19, 1986, issue (page 27).