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Blues Ballads

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Even though it's titled Blues Ballads, this album contains only three outright ballads. The rest of the tracks are variations on the type of organic rock ‘n’ roll and R&B that defined Baker’s early tenure at Atlantic. The three ballads that are included are magnificent. “I Cried a Tear,” “If You Love Me,” and “I Waited Too Long” are tugging, full-bodied slow dances that combine the majesty of orchestral recordings with the raw-edged intimacy of small-club combos. These recordings prove Baker was every bit Ray Charles’ equal. Charles’ “Hallelujah I Love Her” is often identified as a definitive blend of gospel and R&B, but Baker’s “So High, So Low” is cut from the same cloth and exudes an even more freewheeling energy. “It’s So Fine,” “Whipper Snapper,” and “Love Me Right” are more than sassy—they're angry. Crucially, they're also danceable, and would still sound fresh ten years later, when soul music had replaced Baker’s form of R&B. At the same time, “St. Louis Blues” aligns Baker with an earlier generation. Her rendition of the Prohibition-era anthem has a wit and venom that would make Ma Rainey grin.


Born: 11 November 1929 in Chicago, IL

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

LaVern Baker was one of the sexiest divas gracing the mid-'50s rock & roll circuit, boasting a brashly seductive vocal delivery tailor-made for belting the catchy novelties "Tweedlee Dee," "Bop-Ting-a-Ling," and "Tra La La" for Atlantic Records during rock's first wave of prominence. Born Delores Williams, she was singing at the Club DeLisa on Chicago's south side at age 17, decked out in raggedy attire and billed as "Little Miss Sharecropper" (the same handle that she made her recording debut under...
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Top Albums and Songs by LaVern Baker

Blues Ballads, LaVern Baker
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  • 11,88 €
  • Genres: R&B/Soul, Music, Blues, Chicago Blues
  • Released: 1959

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