Saturday, December 01, 2012

RIP Mickey Baker - produced Bobby Hebb's "I Wish"

 Bobby Hebb replaced Mickey Baker in the duo MICKEY AND SYLVIA. The act became "Bobby and Sylvia" and recorded a 45 RPM on Battle.
Rest in Peace MICKEY BAKER
MacHouston Baker (October 15, 1925 – November 27, 2012),
known as Mickey Baker and Mickey "Guitar" Baker

Mickey Baker, Guitarist, Is Dead at 87

Mr. Baker is probably best known for a single song, “Love Is Strange,” a sexy pop tune that he and Sylvia Vanderpool Robinson recorded in 1956 as Mickey & Sylvia. It sold more than a million copies and reached No. 1 on Billboard’s rhythm-and-blues chart and No. 11 on the pop chart.

The recording was featured in the 1987 film “Dirty Dancing,” and the rapper Pitbull sampled it — including Mr. Baker’s signature keening guitar riff, which is said to have influenced a young Jimi Hendrix — in the song “Back in Time,” featured in the 2012 film “Men in Black 3.”

  • Kenny Burrell is the guitar player, Sticks Evans the drummer. Jimmy Church is interviewed on our YouTube site

  • This song was written by Bobby Hebb, author of "Sunny" for his friend Jimmy Church. It was produced by Mickey Baker of Mickey & Sylvia fame. Bobby Hebb replaced Mickey Baker and the duo Mickey & Sylvia became Bobby & Sylvia and they signed to Battle Records. There are some great session people on this recording. Jimmy Church did an interview on Visual Radio with Joe Viglione on July 5, 2012 and talked about this song. That interview is up on You Tube.

Guitarist Mickey Baker Dies; Had Hits In The '50s, Played On Hundreds Of Records


Jan Persson/Redferns

Mickey Baker, one half of the hit-making duo Mickey and Sylvia in the late '50s and an influential guitarist whose work can be heard on hundreds of records, has died at his home near Toulouse, France.
He was 87.
NPR's Tom Cole reminds us that Mickey and Sylvia cracked the Top 20 in 1957 with a rule "Love Is Strange." But he was much more than a one-hit wonder, Tom says. Baker "added instrumental spice to records by The Coasters, Ruth Brown, Ray Charles" and others. He played on hundreds of sessions.
A jazz musician first, Baker also wrote "what for many years was the book for anyone wanting to learn to play jazz guitar," Tom adds.


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