May 30 King Ernest Baker

May 30 King Ernest Baker


Your Natchez History Minute is brought to
you by Natchez National Historical Park. American blues and soul musician, King Ernest
Baker was born in Natchez on this day, May 30, 1939, but was raised across the river
in Vidalia. Baker’s first professional appearance was in 1958 with blues legend and Mississippi
native, Byther Smith at Wynn’s Louge in Chicago, Illinois. Baker credited Smith with
giving him his start as a professional musician. Baker quickly became a popular attraction
on the Chicago Club circuit and performed with Tyrone Davis, Buddy Guy and Howlin’
Wolf. Due to some professional setbacks in his music career, Baker got a job with the
Los Angeles County Sheriffs department where he worked for the next 15 years. Baker kept
his voice in good shape by singing gospel in a church choir. Upon his retirement at
age 55, he returned to show business and performed with The Wildcats on May 16, 1996 at a blues
show in Ventura, California. Tragically, in 2000, shortly after completing his second
album entitled Blues Got Soul, Baker was killed in a car crash near Santa Maria, California. I am Maur’Keriyah Harbor, sixth grade
student at Morgantown Leadership Academy, and this has been your Natchez History Minute.

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