Hour, Knock on Wood, Black Betty
Initially stationed in England for the Air Force during the early
'60s, American soul shouter Geno Washington fronted a British group
known as the Ram Jam Band for a series of moderate U.K. chart hits
during 1966-1967. Though he was born in Indiana, Washington had
the grit of a deep soul testifier like Wilson Pickett or Don Covay.
While stationed in East Anglia, Washington became known as a frequent
stand-in at gigs around London. When guitarist Pete Gage saw him
at a club in 1965, he asked Washington to join his new group with
bassist John Roberts, drummer Herb Prestige, organist Jeff Wright,
Lionel Kingham on tenor sax, and Buddy Beadle on baritone.
Washington stayed in England after his release from the Air Force,
and the band earned notice around the Southeast for an infectious
live show that packed dozens of up-tempo R&B/soul nuggets into
a half-hour. Signed to Piccadilly by early 1966, the group just
broke into the Top 40 with "Water." Though it was their
highest-charting single, Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band hit
the charts three times in the next year with "Hi-Hi Hazel,"
a cover of "Que Sera Sera," and "Michael." The
band's first two LPs -- Hand Clappin' Foot Stompin' Funky-Butt...Live!
and Hipsters, Flipsters, Finger-Poppin' Daddies! -- were much better
documents of the band at work, and both hit the British Top Ten.
Still, Geno Washington recorded only two more albums with the Ram
Jam Band before splitting by 1970. Gage went on to join Vinegar
Joe, while Washington returned in 1976 with Geno's Back! Four years
later, Washington earned his only number one hit (of a sort), when
Dexys Midnight Runners took the tribute track "Geno" to
the top of the charts. He recorded another LP (Put Out the Cat)
in 1981, and continued to tour sporadically during the '80s and
'90s, often incorporating a blues stance as well as a hypnotism
act. ~ John Bush, All Music Guide
Ram Jam Band
Always ready to rock the house, the King of the swingers
is the incarnation of all things sixties. Hipsters and Flipsters,
movers and shakers alike, are all rendered incapable of having a
bad time, when the Good Times Guru gets his army fans on
the good foot! The old Geno magic still drags 'em in and sends them
With his irrepressible showmanship and professionalism Geno will
be knocking audiences dead for years to come. His super-tight band
is one of the hardest working outfits in the country. It's not all
Old Skool though, Geno has recently recorded with Adamski
and Big Dog (ex Black Grape)
Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band had two of the biggest
selling UK albums of the sixties. Amazingly both of these were live
albums. Hand Clappin, Foot Stompin, Funky Butt Live was in
the album charts for 48 weeks of the year 1996 and was only out-sold
by 'The Sound of Music' and 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'