LaVern Baker (November 11, 1929 - March 10, 1997) was an American Rhythm & Blues singer, originally billed as "Little Miss Sharecropper
", then "Bea Baker
". She had taken the first name "LaVern" by 1952, when she began recording with Todd Rhodes and his band.
Born Delores Baker (she is occasionally known as Delores Williams because of an early marriage to a Eugene Williams) in Chicago, Illinois; by 1953 Baker had signed with Atlantic Records, and immediately began releasing hits, such as "Soul on Fire" and "Tweedlee Dee". Georgia Gibbs scored the bigger hit with her version of "Tweedlee Dee", for which Baker unsuccessfully attempted to sue her.
In addition to singing, Baker also did some work with Ed Sullivan and Alan Freed on TV and in films. In the late 1960s, Baker fell ill after a trip to Vietnam to entertain American soldiers, and she stayed in semi-retirement until 1988. Read more about ...