LaVern Baker, musician
Nov. 11, 1929-Mar. 10, 1997
Shake, Rattle and Roll: The Founders of Rock & Roll by Holly George-Warren, illustrated by Laura Levine (Houghton Mifflin, 2001)
"Tweedle Dee," a top song recorded in 1954 and "Jim Dandy," a 1956 hit made Baker, a jazz-and-R&B-vocalist-turned-rocker famous. As an African American, Baker suffered backlash from her early records being labeled "race records." But she continued to record and eventually the barriers came down.
Read more about Baker's life and music at a site dedicated to her.