LaVern Baker (LaVern Baker)

LaVern Baker

Singer. Born in Chicago, Illinois as Delores  LaVern Baker. She began singing gospel as a child, but she was familiar with more secular styles, as well. Her aunt, Merline Baker, was better known as Memphis Minnie, a blues singer and guitarist. Blessed with a powerful voice, which she put to use as a teenager singing in nightclubs under the stage name Little Miss Sharecropper. She wore a straw hat and a dress made of patches. In 1953 she signed for Atlantic Records as a solo artist, her first release being “Soul on Fire”. Her first hit came in early 1955, with the Latin-tempo “Tweedlee Dee” reaching #4 on the R&B chart and #14 on the national US pop charts. Continuing to record for Atlantic, she turned out the rough-and-tumble “Jim Dandy” and “Jim Dandy Got Married.” She scored her biggest pop hit with “I Cried a Tear,” which reached Number Six in 1959. She and comedian Slappy White were married in 1959, the couple would divorced in 1969. In 1966, LaVern recorded a duet single with Jackie Wilson. The controversial song, “Think Twice”, featured raunchy lyrics that were not considered appropriate for airplay at that time or even today. LaVern signed on for a USO tour; she became seriously ill with bronchial pneumonia after a trip to Vietnam. While recovering at the US Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines, a friend recommended that she stay on as the entertainment director at the Marine Corps Staff NCO club there. She remained there for 22 years, returning to the US after the base was closed in 1988. In 1990, she was among the first eight recipients of a Career Achievement Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation. That same year, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She died at the age of 67, in New York of cardiovascular disease. (bio by: Shock) Cause of death: Heart ailment due to Type II diabetes


  • November, 11, 1929
  • USA


  • March, 03, 1997
  • USA

Cause of Death

  • Heart ailment due to Type II diabetes


  • Maple Grove Cemetery
  • USA

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