1962 Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford – I Need Your Loving
Bobby Robinson owned the Fire Record label and produced Don and Dee Dee singing a song that Don and Bobby co-wrote, I Need Your Loving. The single reached #20 on the Hot 100 and #4 on the R&B chart in 1962.
At least five different songs entitled I Need Your Loving have reached the Hot 100. While other artists have recorded their own versions of Don and Dee Dee’s song, none of those versions reached the Hot 100.
The pair recorded a follow-up single, Don’t You Worry. Don and Bobby also wrote the second single. It failed to find its way onto the Hot 100 but peaked at #7 on the R&B chart. An album followed, but they left the record label when no further hits materialized.
Don’s wife died in an accident. He and Dee Dee went to Sweden in 1964. They toured in the country and recorded a live album. They also recorded some songs with Freda Payne (who later had a hit with Band Of Gold in 1970).
Don and Dee Dee recorded one last album in 1965 before splitting up for good. Dee Dee soon left the music industry completely. Don continued to record for multiple labels.
Justine Washington was born in South Carolina but grew up primarily in Harlem. She joined The Hearts in 1956 and soon moved to the Jaynettes. In 1957, she began recording as Baby Washington. She released four singles that reached the top twenty on the R&B charts. The fourth single was her biggest hit, That’s How Heartaches Are Made. The record peaked in the top ten on the R&B chart and also reached #40 on the Hot 100 in 1963. Eleven more singles reached the Hot 100 or the R&B chart by 1973.
Don and Baby teamed up and released Forever in 1973. The single didn’t reach the Hot 100 but did make it to #30 on the R&B chart. The song had a strong Philadelphia Soul feel.
Baby had one more solo hit in 1975 and continues to perform on cruise ships and at live shows a few times a year.
Don continued to play jazz in small clubs until his death in 2018.
Bobby went on to produce hits by a wide variety of artists, including The Shirelles, Dave “Baby” Cortez, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and even Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five. He died in 2011 at the age of 93.