Monday, December 14, 2009

LaVern BAKER - Blues Side Of Rock 'n' Roll 1993

LaVern BAKER - Blues Side Of Rock 'n' Roll 1993


Born Delores Williams, November 11, 1929, in Chicago, IL, (died March 10, 1997, Manhattan, NY).
Began singing gospel music in her Baptist Church choir in Chicago, 1941; recorded debut single as “Little Miss Sharecropper” for RCA Victor with Eddie “Sugarman” Penigar’s band, 1949; recorded as “Bea Baker” for Columbia Records, recorded unaccredited with Maurice King for Okeh Records, recorded as “Little Miss Sharecropper” for National Records, 1951; joined Todd Rhodes’ band as lead vocalist, changed name to LaVern Baker, 1952; signed with Atlantic Records as solo artist, 1953; achieved success on R&Bchartswith single “Tweedlee Dee” and became Atlantic’s first Pop Top-20 hit, appeared in Alan Freed’s movies Rock, Rock, Rock and Mr. Rock & Roll, 1955; reached number one on R&B charts with “Jim Dandy;” released biggest pop hit “I Cried a Tear,” 1958; left Atlantic Records for Brunswick Records, 1964; became Entertainment Director at the Subic Bay Military Base, 1969; returned to the U.S. to perform at Atlantic Records’ 40th anniversary party at Madison Square Garden, 1988; recorded “Slow Rolling Mama” for Dick Tracy movie soundtrack, replaced Ruth Brown for nine months in Broadway musical Black and Blue, 1990; died on March 3 in New York City, 1997.
Awards: Received Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s Career Achievement Award, 1990; inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1991.
LaVern Baker, the great early rock & roll singer's second LP -- not to be confused with her first and very similarly titled LP, which was called just LaVern -- gathers both sides of seven of her nine first singles, all issued in 1953-1956. (The singles not included from this sequence are the 1954 45 "I Can't Hold Out Any Longer"/"I'm Living My Life for You" and the 1956 45 "Fee Fee Fi Fo Fum"/"I'll Do the Same for You.") In this respect, it's a much more typical album of the early rock & roll era than LaVern, which opted for material that hadn't yet appeared on singles. The most famous, and the best, songs on LaVern Baker are the hits "Tweedle Dee" and "Jim Dandy." Much of the other material comes off as energetic but less interesting variations on the general upbeat "R&B turning into rock & roll" formula of those numbers, though she does get into somewhat different bags on the heavily calypso-flavored "I Can't Love You Enough" and a few ballads. Since no less than 11 of these 14 tracks also appear on the best Baker compilation (Soul on Fire: The Best of LaVern Baker), this has to be considered something for completists, despite its generally decent quality.
By Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide.
This import may be of slightly dubious origins (sounds like everything was dubbed from vinyl, though the sound quality is quite acceptable), but it delves a lot deeper into Lavern Baker's Atlantic discography (26 cuts) and picks up a few essential sides ignored by Atlantic's own CD: "Tra La La," "Voodoo Voodoo," "Hey Memphis" (Baker's sequel to Elvis' "Little Sister"), and a hellacious version of "He's a Real Gone Guy" sporting a vicious King Curtis sax break.
By Bill Dahl, All Music Guide.
01. Hey Memphis - 1961
02. Voodoo Voodoo - 1958
03. Tweedlee Dee - 1954
04. Jim Dandy - 1955
05. Tra-La-La - 1956
06. St. Louis Blues - 1957
07. Still - 1956
08. Jim Dandy Got Married - 1957
09. Whipper Snapper - 1957
10. Substitute - 1957
11. Bop-Ting-A-Ling - 1955
12. Humpty Dumpty Heart - 1957
13. Saved - 1960
14. Dix-A-Billy - 1958
15. That's All I Need - 1955
16. He's A Real Gone Guy - 1958
17. I Can't Love You Enough - 1956
18. Itty Bitty Girl - 1962
19. Oh, Johnny Oh, Johnny - 1962
20. See See Rider - 1962
21. So High So Low - 1959
22. Shake A Hand - 1959
23. I Cried A Tear - 1958
24. Bumble Bee - 1960
25. You Said - 1960
26. I Waited Too Long - 1959

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