Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

LaVern Baker

Her voice carried a fascinating mixture of sophistication and down-to-earth power that evoked Bessie Smith and the other vocalists of the classic era, and she did much to set in place the outlines of early rock and roll. LaVern Baker was one of the most original and significant African American vocalists of the 1950s and early 1960s.

Baker was born Delores Williams on November 11, 1929, in Chicago. Her aunt was the classic blues vocalist Memphis Minnie, and she began to sing with friends at an early age. The raw power in her voice, came from gospel; Baker joined the choir at her Baptist church at the age of 12. By her late teens, she was singing blues and pop in Chicago nightclubs. She had a separate alias for each of the two images she wanted to project; for the down-home crowds recently arrived in Chicago, she took the name of Little Miss Sharecropper, while for other club dates she used the name Bea Baker. The name might have been derived from Memphis Minnie's real name, Merline Baker.

Read more

1 Photos

Albums

[no cover]
Real Gone Gal
Atlantic
1984
buy
[no cover]
Sings Bessie Smith
Atlantic
1958
buy
LaVern Baker Sings Bessie Smith
LaVern Baker Sings...
Atlantic Records
1958
buy

Similar

Etta James Etta James
vocalist
Fats Domino Fats Domino
piano
Big Joe Turner Big Joe Turner
vocalist
Esther Phillips Esther Phillips
vocalist
Bo Diddley Bo Diddley
guitar
Amos Milburn Amos Milburn
piano
Ruth Brown Ruth Brown
vocalist
Big Maybelle Big Maybelle
vocalist
Roy Brown Roy Brown
vocalist
Support our sponsor

Sponsor: Motéma Music | BUY IT  

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.