The Juke in the Back #51

Early Lavern Baker & R&B Baseball Songs

This week, "The Juke In The Back" looks at how one of R&B's greatest voices, Lavern Baker, got her start. Matt The Cat collects ALL of Baker's early records together in one place. From her first recordings with the Eddie "Sugarman" Penigar Orch to her breakthrough sides with The Todd Rhodes Orch and all the records in-between. You can really hear how Baker's sound evolved between 1949 and 1953. Her true breakthrough wouldn't come until "Tweedlee Dee" became a huge R&B and pop hit in 1955.

Plus, in our "Harlem Hit Parade," celebrate America's National Pastime with a collection of R&B baseball songs. Soon after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 and Larry Doby went to the Indians, blues and rhythm artists started singing about a game that could now be enjoyed by everybody.

"The Juke In The Back" features the underground R&B music that directly influenced the birth of rock n' roll, but is seldom heard or respected on the radio.

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