Album of the Day
Born Delores Evans in Chicago, LaVern Baker had a voice that elevated every song it touched, be it blues, jazz, gospel, R&B or rock 'n' roll. After signing with Atlantic Records, she released her debut album in 1956 and though the label's longplayers of the era were often just collections of singles, LAVERN is a more cohesive affair. While opener “Lots And Lots Of Love” is a Baker original and “Of Course I Do” was penned by proto-rocker Chuck Willis, romantic ballads and standards such as “Harbor Lights” carry the day here. Producers Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler brought in top-flight instrumentalists behind the performer, who wrings every drop of emotion from these dozen songs. As the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was born on this day in 1929, we'll give another listen now to LAVERN.