Podcast #25: LaVern Baker

Episode 24 was recorded especially in Berlin, with our co-founder Katy Derbyshire telling us about the blues and R&B singer LaVern Baker.  Recorded live at Restaurant März, and produced and presented by Susan Stone in September 2019.

Also available on Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple PodcastsRadioPublic, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and Acast. You can download a transcript here.

Show notes & pics:

Club de Lisa

Chicago’s Club DeLisa, 1942

Soul on Fire

That first hit


The Tweedlee Dee Girl herself

Height of fame

Height of fame


Red lipstick


Pretty in mink


Marines on shore leave, Philippines


Later in life


Katy’s favourite pic.


You can read more about LaVern Baker in Chip Deffaa’s book Blue Rhythms. Six Lives in Rhythm and Blues.

Head over to Spotify for our special playlist…

Or look up all those different “Saved” covers on YouTube… Skip Phil Collins to 1:32 to watch LaVern do it in colour just after being rediscovered in 1986, plus a great little interview at the end. And a longer interview is hereBut whatever you do, don’t listen to “Think Twice, Version X” at work.

Our theme music is “Little Lily Swing” by Tri-Tachyon.

Thanks for listening! We’ll be back with a new episode in October. And here’s a link to our Patreon page, in case you’d like to help fund transcripts.

Dead Ladies Show #2

The second Dead Ladies Show once again explores the collision of feminism and fabulousness, glamor and genius. Get dressed up in your finest of finery, or come as you are, Berlin-style, ready to learn about three more ladies who were amazing in their lifetimes.

This Dead Ladies Show celebrates Chicago-born silent film actress Dagmar Godowsky, her fellow Chicagoan (albeit “from the other side of the tracks”), pioneering R&B star LaVern Baker, and the Viennese salonnière Alma Mahler-Werfel. Though long departed from the world’s stage, these artists have never stopped inspiring this evening’s hosts, Katy Derbyshire (translator extraordinaire), Florian Duijsens (SAND, Asymptote), and their guests Luisa Zielinski (Paris Review, Asymptote) and Julya Rabinowich (author of Splithead and other novels).

After a night of short bilingual readings and presentations, we’ll mingle and listen to forgotten tunes and drink to deceased dames. The cover charge is 4 Euro, and there will be a signature Chicago-style cocktail on offer.

Foto : Alma Mahler-Werfel