LaVern Baker

Born Nov 11, 1929

LaVern Baker was an American rhythm and blues singer, who had several hit records on the pop chart in the 1950s and early 1960s. Her most successful records were "Tweedlee Dee" (1955), "Jim Dandy" (1956), and "I Cried a Tear" (1958).

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Browse recent news and stories about LaVern Baker.

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of LaVern Baker.


1929 Birth Born on November 11, 1929.


1946 16 Years Old She began singing in Chicago clubs such as the Club DeLisa around 1946, often billed as Little Miss Sharecropper, and first recorded under that name in 1949.


1951 21 Years Old She changed her name briefly to Bea Baker when recording for Okeh Records in 1951, and then became LaVern Baker when singing with Todd Rhodes and his band in 1952.
1953 23 Years Old In 1953 she signed for Atlantic Records as a solo artist, her first release being "Soul on Fire".
1955 25 Years Old Her first hit came in early 1955, with the Latin-tempo "Tweedlee Dee" reaching #4 on the R&B chart and #14 on the national US pop charts. … Read More
1956 26 Years Old At the end of 1956 she had another smash hit with "Jim Dandy" (#1 R&B, #17 pop). … Read More


1964 34 Years Old In addition to singing, Baker also did some work with Ed Sullivan and Alan Freed on TV and in films, including Rock, Rock, Rock and Mr. Rock & Roll. In 1964, she recorded a Bessie Smith tribute album, before leaving Atlantic and joining Brunswick Records, where she recorded the album "Let Me Belong to You".
1966 36 Years Old In 1966, Baker recorded a duet single with Jackie Wilson. … Read More


1988 58 Years Old In 1988 she returned to perform at Madison Square Garden for Atlantic Records' 40th anniversary. … Read More


1990 60 Years Old In 1990, she made her Broadway debut replacing Ruth Brown as star of the hit musical Black and Blue.
1991 61 Years Old In 1991, Rhino Records released a new album Live in Hollywood recorded at the Hollywood Roosevelt Cinegrill, as well as a compilation of her greatest Atlantic hits entitled Soul on Fire.
1992 62 Years Old In 1992, she recorded a well-received studio album, Woke Up This Morning, for DRG Records.
1994 64 Years Old She continued performing after having both legs amputated from diabetes in 1994 and made her last recording, "Jump Into the Fire," for the 1995 Harry Nilsson tribute CD, For the Love of Harry on the Music Masters label. … Read More
1997 67 Years Old LaVern Baker died from cardiovascular disease on March 10, 1997, at the age of 67. … Read More
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