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Mickey Baker
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    (October 15, 1925-November 27, 2012)
    Born in Louisville, Kentucky
    Birth name was MacHouston Baker
    Jazz/rhythm & blues/rock & roll guitarist
    With Sylvia Robinson formed Mickey & Sylvia
    Mickey & Sylvia recorded the single 'Love Is Strange' (1957)
    Solo recorded the albums 'Wildest Guitar' (1959), 'But Wild' (1963), 'Mississippi Delta Blues' (1973), 'Take a Look Inside' (1973) and 'The Legendary Mickey Baker' (1992)
    Sessions that he played on include 'Money Honey' by the Drifter (1953), 'Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean' by Ruth Brown (1953), 'Shake, Rattle and Roll' by Big Joe Turner (1953), 'Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On' by Big Maybelle (1955), 'Need Your Love So Bad' by Little Willie John (1955), 'Caldonia' by Louis Jordan (1956) and 'It's Gonna Work Out Fine' by Ike & Tina Turner (1961)
    For a year in his teens, he supported himself as a pool shark.
    He originally wanted to play the trumpet, but a guitar was the only instrument he could afford from a pawnshop.
    He moved from jazz to r&b solely for the money: 'I was starving to death, and the blues was just a financial thing for me then.'
    He was one of the busiest session musicians in early rock and r&b.
    He was part of the house band at several of Alan Freed's Rock and Roll Parties.
    His 'Complete Course in Jazz Guitar' instruction books became a staple that have remained in print for over 50 years.
    He received a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation (1999).

Credit: C. Fishel

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