Charmaines / Gigi and the Charmaines


Cincinnati, 1960-8

The Charmaines were a soul girl trio. Sisters Marian (who used the name Gigi on some of the records) and Jerri Jackson had sung together, but at the start of the girl group sound in 1959/60, Marian started a trio with Irene Vinegar and Dee Watkins. The group was signed to Fraternity records and started recording at King studios. They released two 45s on Fraternity, with the second one, "What Kind Of Girl" being their highest charting record, although only making it to #117 in the Billboard charts. They had a one shot 45 on Dot before returning to Fraternity. 

While recording their own 45s, the sessions included other local musicians like Kenny Smith and most notably, Lonnie Mack, who got his big break thanks to a Charnaines session that finished early, allowing him time to record "Memphis". 

In 1966 their career had a significant change when Marian married Detroiter Herman Lewis Griffin. Griffin had already recorded some 45s on his own and had ties to several record labels including CBS. He got the group to release a 45 on Date, and later 2 45s on Columbia. None of them were really successful but the group's sound was brought up to date and had better production, and all three records are strong. Around the time of the Date 45, Jeri Jackson replaced Dee Watkins, although Watkins returned to the group occasionally. 

IN 1966/7, thanks to Griffin's connections, they travelled across the Detroit river from Detroit to WIndsor, Ontario, and started an stay in Canada that lasted for several months. While there, they recorded a one off 45 for Red Leaf records in Toronto.

The group seemed to have broken up around 1968 with one final 45 on Minit. In 1969, Jerri Jackson went out on her own, which is covered in a seperate entry.

Not much is known to us about the post Charmaines careers of the four women (other than the Jerri Jackson solo records).

Discography:
Rockin' Old Man / If You Were Mine - Fraternity 873, 1960
What Kind Of Girl (Do You Think I Am) / All You Gotta Do - Fraternity 880, 1961
Where Is The Boy Tonight / On The Wagon - Dot 16351, March 1962
G I Joe / Don't Take Away Your Love - Fraternity 909, 1963
If You Were Mine / Goodbye Baby Goodbye - Fraternity 917, 1963
Rockin' Pneumonia / Goodbye Baby Goodbye - Fraternity 930, 1964
(You Are) Hypnotized / The One For Me - Red Leaf 001
G. I. Joe / If You Were Mine - Fraternity 961, 1966
Eternally / If You Ever - Date 1518, July 1966
Girl Crazy / Guilty - Columbia 43798, Dec 1966
Poor Unfortunate Me / Brazil - Columbia 44246, Aug 1967
Smile / Keep On Searchin' - Minit 32074, 1969

Different versions of G I Joe - the second one uses a faster, different backing.
Same recording of Goodbye Baby Goodbye used twice