Interview with blues singer W.C. Baker

Date: September 10, 1985

Source: S1576 , Container 39 , T86-91, T86-92, C86-132*, C86-133*

Type: Sound

Download: MP3

Download: MP3


  • Two reel to reel tapes. (Copied onto C86-132/133.) Interview with blues singer and Dixieland jazz musician William C. Baker. Born in Live Oak, Baker was a blues singer known as Big Boy Baker in the 1930s-1950s. He recorded numerous records in Florida and Chicago, and even won Amateur Night at the Apollo in 1948. He moved to Miami in the 1950s. After a car accident in the 1950s, he switched to Dixieland jazz, and formed the Dixie Cooperates. He discusses starting out in music in Live Oak; his musical influences; black life in North Florida; moving to Chicago; life in Pompano Beach; appearing on radio in Fort Lauderdale (WFTL); recording 78rpm albums in Miami; various Florida night clubs; forming his band; his car accident; and Dixieland jazz. For a performance by Baker and his band, see S 1576, T86-88 - T86-90. For more information, see the fieldnotes on W.C. Baker in S 1628, Box 1, folder 10. The Dade Folk Arts Survey was conducted in 1986 by folklorists Tina Bucuvalas, Nancy Nusz and Laurie Sommers in order to identify folk arts and folk artists for the special folklife area at the 34th Annual Florida Folk Festival. The traditions are mainly Haitian, Jamaican, Mexican, Bahamian, Cuban and Jewish and cover a wide range of skills and art forms.

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