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LaVern Baker's debut full-length cemented her reputation as not only one of the premier female singers of the time but as one of the greatest singers of all, period. LPs from this era customarily offered a few hot singles padded with filler, but, in accordance with Atlantic’s standards, LaVern maintains high quality from top to bottom. In its early years, Atlantic’s specialty was skirting the border between the mainstream American pop charts and the unbridled performances of the chitlin’ circuit. No one toyed with this divide quite like LaVern Baker. A song like “I’ll Never Be Free” features a tight arrangement and white backup singers, yet it still manages to transmit an irrepressible air of sexual anxiety. “Lots and Lots of Love” and “Of Course I Do” demonstrate Baker’s assertive, aggressive vocal presence, which rivals even the most macho male singers. But her debut proves she had range, and her ability to tell a story in song comes out in the ballads, especially “You’ll Be Crying,” “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool,” and “Harbor Lights,” the last of which was picked up by Elvis Presley on his inaugural sessions for Sun Records.

Customer Reviews

ONCE Again

The Real Rock From The Rock I Would Buy This Over and Over Again!


Born: November 11, 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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LaVern, LaVern Baker
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