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  1. #1

    Saintmo Records (St Louis) & Oscar Washington

    I know not too many 'rare' soul experts seem to visit SDF these days but just in case someone views this thread that does have the info, I'm after facts surrounding this late 60's / early 70's(?) label out of St Louis.

    I'm almost sure it was owned / run by Oscar Washington a locally based teacher / guitarist who back in the early 1950's co-wrote "Night Train" (a hit in 52 for Jimmy Forest & eventually also a massive track for James Brown in 62).
    No doubt using some of the money he made from that hit, he started up Ballad Records. The label's 1st release in 1953 was from the Swans and this was followed by other 45's by the Swans plus outings from Joe Alexander & The Cubans (these featured Chuck Berry on guitar), Fred Green & The Mellards, Art Lassiter, Danny Knight and Areena Allen. The label put out regular releases till 1955 and then made a short re-appearance in 1958.
    I know little about Oscar Washington's music biz exploits over about the next 10 years though I guess he continued to write songs and get them placed.
    He next seems to spring up with the opening of the locally based Saintmo label who put out 3 x 45's by the Sounds Four around 1968. Three members of this group would appear to have been Arcellus Heard, Fred Lardge & Walter Ruchenkeep as these guys (plus Washington) are credited with writing the group's song "KEEP ON LOVIN".
    Next a 45 escaped on both the Peak label & Saintmo from the Fabulous Four (who may well have just been the Sounds Four under another name). These cuts had input from the likes of Charles Warren (as writer & arranger), Charles also doing lots of work on the Memphis R&B scene.
    The connection between Washington's 1950's and 1960's output was linked via the production company credited with all the Saintmo recordings (Ballad Productions; no doubt named after Washington's 50's label).

    Attachment 3760Attachment 3761

    Can anyone help by supplying some more info on Oscar Washington, the Saintmo label or the groups, the Fabulous Four or the Sounds Four. CHEERS
    Last edited by jsmith; 10-18-2011 at 03:49 AM.

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  4. #4
    I think the Ballad label with the Citations ("Keep the Faith") and the Gifts ("You Can't Keep Love In a Broken Heart") is from St. Louis?

    Best,

    Mark

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