LaVern Baker / Rhythm and Blues

LaVern Baker

Delores Baker She started in a Chicago gospel church choir, from which she moved to a Chicago nightclub, Club DeLisa, where she could be booked under the name "Little Miss Sharecropper", and to a Detroit nightclub at the age of seventeen. The stage name referred to the Little Miss Cornshucks, who had been performing in Chicago since the early 1940s and whose signature song So Long was also sung by Baker. In Detroit she was discovered by veteran jazz orchestra leader Fletcher Henderson, who got her a record deal with Okeh Records and wrote I'm in a Crying Mood for her with Willmette Ward.
Together with Todd Rhodes' orchestra, she recorded her first singles for King Records in Cincinnati, which, however, went completely unnoticed.
From now on she called herself LaVern Baker.

In 1954 she got a recording contract with Atlantic Records.
Her manager was Al Green (not the R&B singer of the same name Al Green, but the former operator of the Detroit bar The Flame-Bar and manager of Jackie Wilson, who was involved in her further rhythm and blues took care of Baker until his death in 1957.
One of them was the classic Tweedlee Dee, which later became a big hit for Georgia Gibbs. Baker then sued Gibbs' record company for damages for intellectual theft. This theft was not related to the songwriter royalties, but to the arrangement that was adopted note by note.
The process, which was considered in the specialist industry at the time, decided in the disadvantage of Baker and Atlantic. Baker reached #14 on the pop charts and #4 on the R&B charts with Tweedlee Dee.

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