Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|La Vern Baker|
Soul on Fire: Best of (Mcup)
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop, R&B, Rock, Broadway & Vocalists
Simply put, LaVern Baker, one of the greatest vocalists in Atlantic Records' history, could sing anything, as she proved again and again during a seven-year run of chart hits that began with 1955's "Tweedle Dee" and culmin... more »
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Simply put, LaVern Baker, one of the greatest vocalists in Atlantic Records' history, could sing anything, as she proved again and again during a seven-year run of chart hits that began with 1955's "Tweedle Dee" and culminated in 1963's "See See Rider." Her material, supplied by many of the era's greatest songwriters (Leiber-Stoller, Pomus-Shuman, and many others), encouraged her to draw on her gospel and big band backgrounds in exploring the emotional subtext of serious ruminations on life such as "Saved" and the powerful "Soul on Fire." The latter was her first Atlantic single, and on it she used virtually every vocal technique at her command to bring out the slow-burning sensuality of the Ahmet Ertegun-penned gem of erotic longing. Thus was notice served, and, in the glorious years that followed, Baker cut a swath wide enough that her name and label-mate Ruth Brown's were spoken in the same reverent terms, sotto voce. The 20 tracks here remain as vital today as they were indispensable to the music's evolution in her own time. --David McGee
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My Soul Unearthed
Brian A. Foster | Castro Valley, CA USA | 01/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My youngest memories of music as a kid were of LaVern Baker. My Dad played her albums at every party he threw (and he threw quite a few). I liked it then, but haven't listened to her music in well over 20 years now. I purchased this album to remember my Dad's music.The best surprise was mine to enjoy--not only did I reconnect all of my memories, I gained a true appreciation of what a wonderful treasure LaVern Baker was. My goodness. Between LaVern Baker and Fats Domino, do you need anything else to remember those years?There is not a single bad song on this album. Every song she sings is emminently enjoyable. But it--you won't regret it."
A R&R/R&B Legend
Brian A. Foster | 07/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the great advantages to having become a teenager in the early 1950s is the fact that, by having lived through the birth of R&R, you can look back and give an honest, unbiased opinion as to who constituted the wheat and who made up the chaff.
Let's face it, the early days of R&R were male dominated, and when you get right down to it, only three women were able to consistently hold their own on the charts in those days with the likes of Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Elvis, Pat Boone, Jerry Lee Lewis, and The Everly Brothers. They were Connie Francis, Brenda Lee, and LaVern Baker.
Born Delores Williams on November 11, 1929 in Chicago, her first record releases came in 1951 on Columbia's Okeh subsidiary when she was billed as Bea Baker and, later that same year, as "Little Miss Sharecropper" on the National label. In 1952 she took the name LaVern Baker while performing with Todd Rhodes & His Orchestra, and her success there led to a contract with the fledgling Atlantic Records. Her first release, Soul On Fire - fittingly the title for this CD - was written by the label's legendary founder Ahmet Ertegun, and while it didn't chart in either the R&B or pop Top 40 when released in late 1953, that would change in 1955.
In January that year, with her back-up group The Gliders, she released the bouncy Tweedlee Dee which, b/w the soulful Tomorrow Night [an Elvis favorite] went to # 4 R&B and # 14 pop. And although it was outsold in the latter market by a rushed-out Georgia Gibbs cover, the buying public would not let that happen again. From there to her last big charted hit in 1966, no one dared cover her again.
Of her 21 charted R&B and pop hits, 15 are included here, with the only missing gems being Tra La La (1956), It's So Fine (1958), So High So Low and Tiny Tim from 1959, 1965's Fly Me To The Moon and, from 1966 while with Brunswick Records, the duet with Jackie Wilson, Think Twice.
LaVern, who sadly passed away at age 67 in 1997, did get to see her name enshrined in the R&R Hall of Fame in 1991, thereby correcting a five year oversight [she should have been selected with the first inductees in 1986]. In any event, this is one CD you MUST have if you want an appreciation of one of the top three most influential female artists of Rock's early days. And while you're at it, search out the fabulous LP LaVern Baker Sings Bessie Smith."
V. A. Peek | Summerville, SC | 05/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not only was she great in every way these other reviews say, she was a very beautiful lady on the outside and inside. The only place I had to hear her when I was a teenager was at a mainly "blacks" cafe on the "down" end of the town I grew up in. There were no "black" radio stations then in my hometown. My closest friend and I could sometimes get a far off radio station that played this kind of music, but we'd slip off and go to this cafe (Miles' Cafe) after high school let out. I can't remember what we used as an excuse as to why we were late getting home from school. (Parents cared in those days, but would not have approved of our going in to "that" cafe.) I'm so glad I ran across this album on Amazon. Well, Amazon actually recommended it to me. Thanks Amazon. I remember most of these songs. Oh, I graduated from high school in 1957."