Ella Washington

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Ella Washington is an African-American former R&B and gospel singer, described as "an outstanding Southern soul vocalist"[1] and best known for her 1969 hit "He Called Me Baby". She later became a church pastor.

She was born in Miami, Florida, and first recorded in 1965 for the local Octavia label.[2][3] Her single "The Grass Always Seems Greener" was leased to Atlantic Records for release, but did not achieve commercial success.[1][4] In 1967, she began recording for the Sound Stage 7 label in Nashville, Tennessee. Several of her records were produced by radio disc jockey John Richbourg, and were recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.[2] Her third single for Sound Stage 7, "He Called Me Baby", was a reworking of a 1962 song by Harlan Howard (originally "She Called Me Baby"), which had previously been recorded by many country singers including Bobby Bare and Patsy Cline. Washington's version reached # 77 on the Billboard Hot 100, and # 38 on the Billboard R&B chart, but was her only hit record.[3] However, she released an LP, Ella Washington, in 1969, and a succession of singles on the Sound Stage 7 label through to 1972, including "Stop Giving Your Man Away" and "Trying To Make You Love Me".[4][5]

In 1973, she turned from secular to gospel music.[2] She sang "Amazing Grace" and "Because He Lives" at John Richbourg's funeral in 1986.[6] By 2009, as Ella Washington Cobbs, she was pastor at Theos Ministries church in Opa-locka, Miami-Dade County, Florida.[7]

The first compilation album of her recordings, Nobody But Me, was released by Charly Records in 1987.[8] A CD of her recordings for Sound Stage 7, He Called Me Baby, was issued on the Soulscape label in 2009.

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