Monday, August 29, 2011

LaVern Baker - Tweedlee Dee - Atlantic, 1954

Lavern Baker had music in her blood, being related to both Memphis Minnie and Merline Johnson. A Chicago native, she was born there in 1929. By the mid-40s she was performing around town as "Little Miss Sharecropper".  After signing to Atlantic in '53, this was her second release and first big hit - it went to #4 on the R&B chart and #14 on the national US pop charts. "Tweedlee Dee" was an even bigger hit for Georgia Gibbs (a bit of a sore subject for LaVern, she sued unsuccessfully).
And in this corner - Gibbs

LaVern's other big hit was "Jim Dandy", a tune probably familiar to most of you.
From Wikipedia:
"She received the 1990 Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. In 1991, Baker became the second female solo artist inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, following Aretha Franklin in 1987. Her song "Jim Dandy" was named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll and was ranked #343 on the Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time."
LaVern Baker passed away in 1997, and was buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Queens, NY.

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