Bonnie Baker



About Bonnie Baker

b. Evelyn Nelson, 1 January 1918, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, d. 11 August 1990, Florida, USA. An extremely popular singer with Orrin Tucker’s dance band from 1936-42, Baker was spotted by Tucker while playing a club in Chicago. He hired her as a band vocalist and changed her name, billing her as ‘Wee Bonnie Baker’. In 1939, they recorded the classic novelty number ‘Oh, Johnny, Oh, Johnny, Oh!’, a 1918 song by Abe Olman and Ed Rose. It soon became one of the ‘hottest’ records around, contributing to Baker being voted Most Popular Female Vocalist of 1940 in a Billboard college poll. More hits followed, including ‘Stop! It’s Wonderful’, ‘Billy’, ‘Would’ja Mind?’, ‘You’d Be Surprised’, ‘Pinch Me’, ‘If I Could Be The Dummy On Your Knee’, ‘Where Do I Go From You?’ and ‘My Resistance Is Low’. The band and Baker also featured, for a season, on Lucky Strike’s Your Hit Parade, on CBS network radio, and in the minor musical film, You’re The One. In 1942, Tucker broke up the band and volunteered for service in the US Navy. Baker went solo, and worked through the 40s, but eventually faded from the music scene.

St. Louis, MO, United States
1 April 1917

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