LaVern Baker (1929?1997) was an American rhythm & blues singer, originally billed as "Little Miss Sharecropper", then "Bea Baker". She had taken the first name "LaVern" by 1952, when she began recording with Todd Rhodes and his band (she is occasionally known as Delores Williams because of an early marriage to a Eugene Williams). She was active from 1946?1967 and again from 1988 ? 1991. She was born Delores Baker on 11th November 1929 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. By 1953 Baker had signed with Atlantic Records, and immediately began releasing hits, such as "Soul on Fire" and "Tweedlee Dee".
She was born Delores Baker on 11th November 1929 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. By 1953 Baker had signed with Atlantic Records, and immediately began releasing hits, such as "Soul on Fire" and "Tweedlee Dee". In addition to singing, Baker also did some work with Ed Sullivan and Alan Freed on television and in films. In the late 1960s, Baker fell ill after a trip to Vietnam to entertain American soldiers, and she stayed in semi-retirement until 1988. (A friend recommended that she stay on as the entertainment director at a Marine Corps nightclub at the Subic Bay Naval Base, and that's what she did for twenty years.) At that point, she performed at Madison Square Garden for Atlantic Records' fortieth anniversary. She then worked on the soundtrack to Dick Tracy and appeared in Black & Blue, a Broadway musical, and released a comeback disc that sold moderately well.
In 1991, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her song "Jim Dandy" was named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
LaVern Baker died from coronary complications on 10th March 1997, and was buried in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Kew Gardens, New York.