Once upon a time, there was a black American serviceman named Geno Washington, who while stationed in the UK in the mid to late '60s recorded a number of albums and singles with local British musicians that became one of the touchstones of the UK's Northern Soul scene. Geno Washington was a powerful but limited performer who never broke out of a small cult following, and Dexy's Midnight Runners' 1980 UK number one single "Geno" celebrates him in song. Opening with a brass riff pinched from one of Washington's songs (saxophonist Jeff Blythe had been a latter-day member of Washington's Ram Jam Band), "Geno" opens with a verse that puts singer Kevin Rowland in the audience as a young man "Back in '68 in a sweaty club" being electrified by Washington's performance. The later verse dismisses Washington as a performer -- "Now you're all over/Your song is so tame" -- but maintains Rowland's respect for his early inspiration. What the song doesn't mention -- although it would be interesting to know if Rowland ever knew this, considering his ongoing obsessions with artifice and reality -- is that Geno Washington was a fraud, getting UK record contracts and live gigs on the basis of the work of Gino Washington, a Detroit-based performer from the early '60s whose minor hits included the immortal "Gino Is A Coward."