November 11th in African American History – Delores LaVern Baker

Delores LaVern BakerNovember 11, 1929 Delores LaVern Baker, rhythm and blues singer, was born in Chicago, Illinois.

Baker began performing around Chicago under various names before settling on LaVern Baker in 1952. Her first hit recording came in 1955 with “Tweedlee Dee”, which reached number 4 on the R&B charts.

Baker had a succession of hits over the next couple of years, including “Play It Fair” (1955), “Jim Dandy” (1956), “I Cried a Tear” (1958) and “See See Rider” (1962). In 1986, Baker began a 22 year stint as Entertainment Director at a Marine Corps night club at the Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines.

She returned to the United States in 1988 and worked on movie soundtracks, including “Shag” (1989), “Dick Tracy” (1990) and “A Rage in Harlem” (1991). Baker made her last recording, “Jump into the Fire,” in 1995 and died March 10, 1997.

Baker received the 1990 Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.

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