b. Josephine Armstead, 8th October 1944, Yazoo City, Mississippi, U.S.A.
'Joshie' Jo Armstead was born in Mississipi in 1944.
In 1961, Joshie joined the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, along with Eloise Hester and Delores Johnson, and became one of the Ikettes.
The following year she sang on their Top 20 hit, 'I'm Blue (The Gong Gong Song)', for the Atco imprint.
After a move to New York, Joshie teamed up with Ashford and Simpson, after a chance meeting with the duo in 1965, who, at the time, were songwriters for the publishing branch of Scepter / Wand Records.
Joshie's biggest hit came with the song 'Stone Cold Lover.'
More success came in the form of Ruby Andrews Top Ten R & B smash 'Casanova (Your Playing Days Are Over),' a song later to be remade as a disco hit for the girl group trio Coffee.
'Casanova' was released on Ric Williams' Zodiac label and reached number nine R & B in the summer of 1967.
Other collaborations featuring input from Joshie were Garland Green's gold single 'Jealous Kind of Fella', 'Never Had It So Good' by Ronnie Milsap for the Wand label (A song that went to No 19 on the R & B singles chart in November 1965),'Too Hot to Hold,' 'The Shoe Won't Fit,' and 'The Real Thing' by Betty Everett on VeeJay.
That last melody was also a 1965 number 20 R & B hit by Tina Britt for the Eastern imprint.
By 1965, Joshie had relocated to Chicago, where she formed the Giant Productions company with her husband Mel Collins, whom she had recently married after the move.
This husband and wife pairing set up the Globe, Giant and Gamma labels and enlisted Ruby Andrews, Garland Green, Fenton Robinson, Little Jimmy Scott, Shirley Wahls, Smokey Smothers, and Joshie herself.
Joshie recorded under the names of Joshie Jo Armstead and Jo Armstead.
She was also credited at being instrumental in the birth of the career of John Edwards.
Mel and Joshie's first hit came in the form of Carl Carlton's 'Drop By My Place', a song recorded in Detroit.
The following year, Joshie recorded her own song 'Stone Cold Lover', with the tune reaching number 28 R & B in spring 1968.
The Giant imprint then sold over a million copies of Garland Green's 'Jealous Kind of Fella'.
The song was leased to MCA's Uni imprint and peaked at the Top 5 position in the charts during 1969.
The following year Jo divoced Mel Collins, Giant had ceased as a company, and Joshie relocated to New York for a while.
In 1972, Joshie appeared in Melvin Van Peebles' Broadway play, 'Don't Play Us Cheap', as well as featuring on the soundtrack.
Whilst in New York she sang session work for Stax Records on their subsidiary label Gospel Truth, recording 'I've Got The Vibes' and 'Give A Little Loving'.
Joshie found herself in the midst of trying to retrieve some of her songwriting royalties from over the years and she also began designing women's clothing.
Joshie returned to Chicago over a decade later and found herself managing the boxer Alonzo Ratliff.
During her career she released several sides, which included, 'I've Been Turned On,' 'There's Not Too Many More,' 'I'm Gonna Show You' b / w 'I've Been Turned On', 'Never Had It Like This,' 'This and That' b / w 'No Better for Ya,' 'Stumblin' Blocks, Steppin' Stones (What Took Me So Long), in 1974' and 'Ride out the Storm'.
Joshie also recorded sides with the artists Bobby Hutton ('I Can't Stand A Woman Two Timing A Man', 'Come See What's Left Of Me', 'Oooh Baby' and 'I've Got A Memory') and Shirley Wahls ( 'Cry Myself To Sleep' and 'Don't Destroy Me', arranged by Willie Henderson) for the Smash, Philips and Blue Rock imprints.
In the early nineties, she recorded 'In The Right Place' for her own Prairie Rose Record label.
A multi-talented and much ignored female Soul singer / songwriter.