LaVern Baker: Soul on Fire (1953)

 |   |  <1 min read

LaVern Baker: Soul on Fire (1953)

In her long life -- she died in '97 age 67 -- LaVern Baker (born Delores Baker) sang everything from blues -- she started as Little Miss Sharecropper in Chicago -- through soulful ballads, jazz, fairly vacuous pop (see clip), creditable covers of Bessie Smith . . .

And this minor classic included in the soundtrack to the '87 film Angel Heart and which could have brought her to attention again (she was living in the Philippines), but her song wasn't on the original official soundtrack. 

This song -- with writing credits to her, Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler (of Atlantic Records who had just signed her) -- features Hank Jones on piano and Freddie Mitchell on tenor sax.

Oddly enough it wasn't a hit despite critical attention, including Billboard magazine which wrote (in the quaint hipster style of the day) "blues-singing thrush does a fine job on a most attractive blues-ballad opus while the ork backs her with a strong beat and driving cymbals. Good wax this".

Couldn't have said better, could you? 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Buckner and Garcia: Pac-Man Fever (1982)

Buckner and Garcia: Pac-Man Fever (1982)

Few things guarantee a short career more than a gimmick song cashing in on some pop culture trend. There were dozens of songs about hula hoops in the late Fifties (one even by the great Teresa... > Read more

The Little Willies: Lou Reed (2005)

The Little Willies: Lou Reed (2005)

The idea of the improbable is always enjoyable. It is the basis of Dada and Surrealism, not to mention a few good dreams and a whole lot of Monty Python-type humour. And so you can guess when... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

CHANTS R&B: Christchurch's rare rock, rumble and bang captured on film

CHANTS R&B: Christchurch's rare rock, rumble and bang captured on film

Chants R&B out of Christchurch in the Sixties were a rare New Zealand band, on so many levels. Rare in that they played exciting, noisy, feedback-infused rhythm and blues rock at a time when... > Read more

GUEST WRITER CHRIS CREE BROWN settles in for an afternoon of unfamiliar piano pieces

GUEST WRITER CHRIS CREE BROWN settles in for an afternoon of unfamiliar piano pieces

Sunday afternoon. And the prospect of reviewing four new CDs comprising of piano music by Saint-Saens and three other less familiar composers. An exciting prospect, but tempered by the thought... > Read more