Mickey Baker or Mickey “Guitar” Baker as he was known was not a jazz cat, even though that was what he aspired to be. What Baker was, was a founding father of rock ‘n’ roll guitar. He may not have known it at the time but he would help shape the course of music history during the 20th and 21st century. Mickey and Sylvia have made some of the most classic tunes including, “Love is Strange” and “Dearest” among many many other gorgeous and catchy jamz that hint at the roots of surf rock, rockabilly, and power chords of the future. Baker’s story is certainly a long and winding road, from poverty to striking out at jazz. You’ve heard him with the kings of rock, including Ray Charles, Big Joe Turner, and many other would be legends–he sort of dissapeared under the raddar of the public eye and for that we must ribute him now. Unfortunately, he is not known like his Contemporaries, Chuck Berry or Ray Charles but he should be for his music contributions. He of course landed hits with “Dearest” and “Love is Strange” but he added so much more. You’ve heard him on “Shake, Rattle and Roll, “Johnny B Good”” and many other tracks that defined and era and a movement in music history.
Baker’s impact on American sound is eternal. He died two days ago at his home near Toulouse, France. He was 87 years old. In a few words, Baker was the man. Pause to remember him and enjoy these jamz.
Enjoy. To Mickey.