Joshie Jo Armstead - Stumbling Blocks, Stepping Stones (What Took Me So Long)
Jo Armstead's career in music was truly multi-faceted. As a singer, she worked with the Ikettes and then had a few hits as a solo artist; as a songwriter, she co-wrote Ray Charles' "Let's Go Get Stoned" and "I Don't Need No Doctor" and Garland Green's "Jealous Kind of Fellow"; and she ran the Giant label and its affiliates with her then-husband Mel Collins. By the mid-'70s Armstead had divorced Collins and made her final stand as a recording artist with a handful of 45s on Stax's Gospel Truth label. "Stumbling Blocks, Stepping Stones" was a minor hit, and had Stax not been in its final days the song may have fared better. It certainly deserved to be more successful - Armstead's strong singing and powerful lyrics (which, although spiritual in nature, are not hit-over-the-head gospel) are very inspiring and make for an awesome record.