Who was/is LaVern Baker ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more

LaVern Baker

I Cried A Tear

Fred Jacobson aka Fred Jay, who’d co-written Chuck Willis’ What Am I Living For? could almost have sued himself for this lilting ballad. The melodies are very similar, and Reggie Obrecht crafted a very Willis-like arrangement with horns answering the vocals. King Curtis takes the fills, but alto saxophonist Leon Cohen comes soaring in for the break. Recorded in September 1958, it reached #2 on the R&B charts and #6 on the pop charts early the following year. LaVern is often called a pre-Soul diva, but her booming voice and declamatory delivery seemed rooted in the pre-microphone vaudeville era. She would have one more major hit, a revival of See See Rider in 1962, and then in 1965 she parted company with Atlantic Records to join Brunswick.

Shortly thereafter, LaVern disappeared from public view for many years. She was working a stint in the Philippines when her manager dropped her and her husband divorced her, so she stayed on as the entertainment director at a Marine Corps NCO nightclub at the Subic Bay Naval Base. That’s where she remained for 22 years, and didn’t perform in the United States again until she made a surprise appearance at Atlantic’s 40th anniversary bash in 1988 at Madison Square Garden. Acclaim came late in life. She was elected to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, and continued performing even after complications from diabetes had caused the amputation of both legs. She died March 10, 1997.


Various - Blowing The Fuse 1959

Classics That Rocked The Jukebox

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More information about LaVern Baker on
LaVern Baker: Lavern - Lavern Baker
Art-Nr.: CDCOL6224

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CD on COLLECTABLE RECORDS by LaVern Baker - Lavern - Lavern Baker

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LaVern Baker: Jim Dandy
Art-Nr.: CDCOL9979

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(2006/COLLECTABLES) 10 tracks - original Atlantic recordings

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LaVern Baker: Saved (1961)
Art-Nr.: CDCCM2132

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(2010/CCM) 18 tracks (43:45) Atlantic 1951-61. Gospel, Rhythm'n'Blues, Pop and Rock'n'Roll from one of the most successful black vocalists of her era.

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LaVern Baker: It's So Fime - Singles 1953-59 (2-CD)
Art-Nr.: CDJAS537

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CD on JASMINE RECORDS by LaVern Baker - It's So Fime - Singles 1953-59 (2-CD)

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LaVern Baker: The Platinum Collection (CD)
Art-Nr.: CD799955

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(2007/WARNER) 20 tracks Atlantic 1954-63 - Essential

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LaVern Baker: The Best Of The Rest
Art-Nr.: CDJAS924

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(2015/Jasmine) 25 tracks, 6-page booklet, original Atlantic recordings 1958-1962, incl. the complete singles 1960-62, duets with Ben E. King and Jimmy Ricks, plus rare bonus tracks.

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