Mickey “Guitar” Baker

01/04/2011

mickey_baker

By Chip Taylor

Mickey was a leading session player in the late 50s for Atlantic, Savoy & King Records. When I was signed to King Records, he played lead guitar on all my recordings. (I think we recorded eight single sides). Mickey was amazing! I remember listening to the playbacks and getting so moved when his solo would come up. He had a sound that could make you shiver.

I remember Mickey as a very cordial, heartfelt guy… and he wasn’t a clock-watcher. Back in those days you had three hours to record four songs. If you went overtime the union overtime rule would kick in and the musicians were supposed to be paid more money. But Mickey & Panama Francis (legendary drummer, also on my sessions for the King singles) and the rest waved that rule – they cared more about getting it right And they loved hanging around and listening to the playbacks when the session was over.

In 1956, with a girl named Sylvia Vanderpool, Mickey had a huge duet hit. Billed as Mickey & Sylvia, their record, “Love Is Strange”, went to the top of the charts.

Because great session musicians, particularly in the U.S., seldom get the respect they deserve from the general public, Mickey is most remembered for that hit. But when I told jazz great Bill Frisell that Mickey had played on my early sessions, he just about fell on the floor. He’s on Bill’s high pedestal.. just maybe his rock & roll guitar hero of all time.

For Bill and the rest of us, Mickey is certainly a deserving Rock & Roll Joe.

Posted in Guitarists / 3 comments

3 Comments on Mickey “Guitar” Baker

  1. MICKEY AUTHORED A FABULOUS GUITAR METHOD BOOK.
    iN ADDITION TO HIS STUDIO SESSIONS HE MADE 1 OR2 LPS
    FOR KICKING MULE IN THE 1970S WHICH SHOULD BE HEARD.

  2. THERE’S A FOLLOWUP MICKEY AND SYLVIA RECORD CALLED
    “LOVE WILL MAKE YOU FAIL IN SCHOOL” WHICH INCLUDES THE LINE SCHOOL WILL MAKE YOU FAIL IN LOVE
    AND IT HAS A GREAT GUITAR SOLO

  3. What i do not realize is in reality how you’re now not really much more neatly-appreciated
    than you may be right now. You are very intelligent.
    You know thus significantly when it comes to this topic, made me personally believe it from numerous varied angles.
    Its like men and women are not fascinated except it is something to
    do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs nice. Always care for it up!

Leave a Comment