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Episode #701 – Lavern Baker, Pt. 1 – 1949-54

Air Week: October 9-15, 2023

Lavern Baker, Pt. 1 – 1949-54

This week, the “Juke In The Back” looks at how one of R&B’s greatest voices, Lavern Baker, got her start. It’s part one of a two part feature on the early career of Lavern Baker. In part one, we’ll dig on Baker’s first recordings from 1949-1954. She began her recording career with Eddie “Sugarman” Penigar Orch in 1949, then recorded a few sides as Little Miss Sharecropper on National Records. She then started singing with Maurice King and His Wolverines and finally with Todd Rhodes on King Records. After leaving Rhodes’ band, Baker was determined to become a solo artist and signed up with Atlantic Records, just in time for the Rock n’ Roll Explosion of the mid-1950s. None of these early records made the national charts, but you can really hear Lavern Baker evolve as an artist as the music moved closer and closer from Rhythm & Blues to Rock n’ Roll. In part 2, Matt The Cat will feature her breakthrough record of 1955 and the many hits that followed. Don’t miss the story of Lavern Baker, one of the greatest female vocalists of the 1950s on this week’s “Juke In The Back.”


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