Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Belle Baker: The Best Singer You Never Heard Of

I know you don't know Belle Baker, I hadn't heard of her until a couple of months ago.

Born the year William McKinley was elected in the New York Jewish ghetto, Belle was singing on the street for pennies by the age of eight. She became a vaudeville star along side Al Jolson and Fanny Brice and a Broadway star in the 1920's. Her range included jazz, ragtime, and Yiddish tearjerkers which she preformed with a bold, expressive voice.

 It is a great pity that Belle Baker's voice has mostly been lost while lesser talents (like Fanny Brice) are remembered. The above song, "You've Brought a New Kind of Love," is the song I fell in love with. For a change of pace, here is a 1924 recording of "Hard-Hearted Hannah."

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