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"Come To Mama"
Vickie Baker (New Single Alert!)
Composed by Willie Mitchell
May 1, 2020:
Originally posted in Daddy B. Nice’s Top 10 “Breaking” Singles, May 2020.
Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "BREAKING" Southern Soul Singles For. . .
….2. "Talk In Your Sleep"----Vickie Baker
Vickie Baker harks back to the flickering dawn of contemporary southern soul, recording with Shreveport's legendary Suzie Q maven Stan Lewis at Paula Records. Somewhat inactive in recent years, Vickie scored a solid but mostly overlooked single called "Honey Hole" (#2 Single/Feb 17). "Talk In Your Sleep" is even better, and you'll love the way Vickie leads into her rant, real subtle-like... Beware, fellas! From Unkle Phunk's Juke Joint Vol. 1.
Listen to Vickie Baker singing ""Talk In Your Sleep" on YouTube.
Originally posted in Daddy B. Nice’s CD Review of Unkle Phunk’s Juke Joint Vol. 1, May 1, 2020.
Vickie Baker's outing, "Talk In Your Sleep", is a revelation, a hit from the first time you hear it. With the usual genre modifications, this tune could make it on the Country charts. Impeccably produced (apologies to Unkle Phunk but I'm going to go out on a limb and guess the producer is Mike Darden), it's hard to believe it's not a cover of a standard by someone like the Pointer Sisters. Of course, it's not "country" in Vickie's telling, with the swirling organ background punctuated with brass-section flourishes. It's black as night, the soulfulness delivered in blistering beginning and concluding voice-overs.
For the latest updates on Vickie Baker, scroll down to the "Tidbits" section. To automatically link to Vickie Baker's charted radio singles, awards, CD's and other citations on the website, go to "Baker, Vickie" in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.
Daddy B. Nice's Original Critique:
Vickie Baker is one of the pluckiest of the younger generation of Southern Soul artists. Consider this hilarious exchange from her collaboration with Bobby Rush on "I Don't Want You To Leave Your Wife."
(Knock, knock, knock.
Knock, knock, knock.)
Baker (in irritated voice): "Who's that knocking on my door this time in the morning?"
Rush: "Bobby Rush."
"What do ya mean, what I want?"
"Whatcha' doin' here?" Baker demands.
"I'm. . . I'm . . ." Rush is stammering badly by now. "I want to move in. My wife put me out."
"And?" Baker asks pointedly.
"And I thought, well. . . we've been dealin' and all."
"Now you know you can't come in here and try and move in with me," Baker says. "You just can't do that."
You can just see the hangdog expression on poor Bobby Rush's face. It's a perfect snapshot of one of those moments we men call "real bummers": another blow by the gentler sex to our psychological vitals. And Vickie Baker's ability to convey easy-going street wisdom is what makes it so convincing.
In "Come To Mama," a craftily arranged cover of the classic by Ann Peebles' (also covered by Etta James and Koko Taylor), Vickie carries the day with an assured but seemingly effortless vocal that rides a jaunty jazz piano and a daringly original arrangement showcased by a to-die-for horn chorus.
"Come To Mama" pushes Southern Soul closer to jazz than just about anything yet recorded. The production, the sly, knowing affection Baker has for the material, and the Peebles mystique lurking in the background make the cut one of the more unique recordings by a young female artist in recent memory.
Many fans consider Baker's signature hit to be the tender ballad, Good Loving, from the album of the same name (Fly, 2000). Not to be confused with the Rascal's frenetic rock and roll hit, Baker's "Good Loving" is all about cuddling up to a loved one with no agenda but unselfish and unhurried love.
"Early in the morning
When it's cold outside,
I'll be the pillow you lay your head on.
I'll be the blanket to keep you warm."
You can't get much simpler than that. The melody, though bare, is a thing of beauty, sticking in the mind long after hearing. Along with the unique and more upbeat "Come To Mama," the two songs bookend a promising career in the making.
--Daddy B. Nice
About Vickie Baker (New Single Alert!)
Vickie Baker was born on March 10, 1961 in Shreveport, Louisiana, the daughter of a gospel singer, L.B. Baker. By (day-job) profession a school teacher in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Vickie Baker is a self-described North Louisiana country girl who broke into the Southern Soul scene touring with Ernie Johnson and Willie Clayton in the 90's.
Her debut CD, Don't Gimme No Lip (Paula, 1997), featured a title track co-written by ubiquitous R&B producer John Ward. The disc was uneven from a Southern Soul perspective, reaching out to perhaps too many sources (the urban funk of "Freak On The Side," for example), but it displayed the skills of a promising and eclectic new R&B artist.
Baker's follow-up LP, Good Loving, was issued in 2000 and did not disappoint. The title track, co-composed by Baker's horn specialist from the previous album, Stephen E. Hall, Sr., honed the Vickie Baker persona and solidified her niche as an up and coming Southern Soul songstress.
Baker has continued to record well regarded but hard-to-find music up to the present day, including her duet with Bobby Rush, "Don't Leave Your Wife," and the upbeat and idiosyncratic "Come To Mama."
Two new radio singles from an upcoming CD began to circulate across the Stations of the Deep South early in the summer of 2005. "He Say, She Say (I'm Gonna Stand By My Man)" and "Tussy Roll," which on record sounds like "Tootsie Roll," certainly one of the more graphic metaphors in recent memory. The songs were notable for a grittier sexuality than anything Baker had previously recorded, and signaled that more strong material was on the way. The songs quickly entered chitlin' circuit rotations for mutually lengthy stays.
(Scroll down to Tidbit's #3 for Vickie Baker's discography.)
Song's Transcendent Moment
"If you need a satisfier,
Let me be your pacifier...
Come to Mama.
Come home to Mama."
1. (Updated July 2, 2016)
Vickie Baker on YouTube:
Listen to Vickie Baker singing "Don’t Gimme No Lip" on YouTube.
Listen to Vickie Baker singing "Get Me Weak" on YouTube.
Listen to Vicki Baker singing "Love Strike" on YouTube.
Listen to Vickie Baker singing "No Pain, No Gain" and other songs live onstage on YouTube.
Listen to Vickie Baker singing "Down Home Blues" live onstage on YouTube.
Listen to Vickie Baker singing "Tussy Roll" on YouTube.
Listen to Vicki Baker singing "He Say She Say" on YouTube.
Listen to Vickie Baker singing "Right Thang Wrong Man" on YouTube.
Listen to Vickie Baker singing "I Could Show You" on YouTube.
August 19, 2007.
Your Daddy B. Nice has finally scored some new information on the scantily-distributed product of Vickie Baker. Long one of my favorite songs, "Don't Leave Your Wife," Vickie's amusing duet with Southern Soul's Joker, Bobby Rush, is now listed on the Chittlin' Circuit website as a track on a CD entitled Love Strike (link here). Baker fans can request the song and hear it in its entirety on that site. "Come To Mama," the Baker cover of the little-known Ann Peebles classic and Daddy B. Nice's number-one-rated track for Baker, is also listed as coming from the Love Strike CD.
Meanwhile, a new album by Baker has appeared in mid-2007. I Could Show You (Falife Productions) includes the song "Tussy Roll" (I'll aways think of it as "Tootsie Roll" and that's the way it's sung) that I first started hearing on Southern Soul radio in 2005 (read more below). The album also contains Vickie's cover of Bobby Rush's "I'm Tired Of That Who Said Mess" entitled "He Say She Say." And check out the fine R&B groove Vickie manufactures with a more-than-capable vocal on "Make Me Weak." It's good to see some Vickie Baker material percolating into the light of day.
--Daddy B. Nice
July 3, 2016:
Vickie Baker "Refreshed" Listen to Vickie Baker singing "Sneaking And Cheating" on YouTube.
“SNEAKING AND CHEATING”……A NEW SONG written and produced by Ricky White and published in White’s new compilation, RICKY WHITE PRESENTS: COMBINATION 3
Daddy B. Nice notes:
So many of the early (turn-of-the-century) artists of contemporary southern soul have fallen by the wayside....
....Robert "The Duke" Tillman, Little Kim Stewart, Sorrento Ussery, An-Jay, LaKeisha, Jody Sticker and not least, Vickie Baker. Like her mostly forgotten peers, Vickie has continued to perform--although rarely. She has produced no new albums since 2007's I COULD SHOW YOU. Her discography remains set at four albums as follows:
Don't Gimmie No Lip (Paula 1997)
Sample/Buy Vickie Baker’s DON’T GIMME NO LIP CD.
Primary writers/producers: Ben Shaw, John Ward, Fred Hall, Frank-O Johnson
Good Loving (So Fly 2000)
Out of Print (Label was started by Vickie Baker and Stephen Hall)
Buy used copies of Vickie Baker’s GOOD LOVING CD at Amazon.
Love Strike (So Fly 2003)
(Out of Print)
Primary writers/producers: Rue Davis
Buy used copies of Vickie Baker’s LOVE STRIKE CD at Amazon.
I Could Show You (FaLife Prod 2007)
Primary writers/producers:Luster Baker
Sample/Buy Vickie Baker’s I COULD SHOW YOU CD at CD Baby.
It's impossible to convey to people in 2016, with the Internet in the palm of their hands and every conceivable factoid available, how empty and dark the same system was in the early years, when these artists really were total unknowns. Many of the discography details about Vickie Baker above have only come to light as the years have passed. In addition to the influence of Harrison Calloway on her first album (about which more in a minute), Rue Davis, Frank-O Johnson and John Ward were contributors or collaborators on Baker albums.
Perhaps most interestingly, in retrospect, is the significance of Luster Baker, Vickie's brother, on her 2007 release, I COULD SHOW YOU. (He wrote and produced.) At the time he was an unknown. Now Luster is an established southern soul artist, with hot singles "That's My Boo," "Dump Truck," and "My Main Thang," who works and tours as equals with the likes of T.K. Soul and L.J. Echols.
Vickie talks about the influence of the recently-passed Harrison Calloway in a terrific interview in the "Jefferson Blues Magazine". In the interview, Vickie also describes her brother Luster as the "musical genius" of the family. Mike Stephenson elicits all you ever wanted to know about Vickie Baker.
Your Daddy B. Nice was especially satisfied with Vickie's explanation of starting out with Paula Records and Stan Lewis (who later started Suzie Q) in Shreveport, the last place anyone would want to visit but (maybe) because of that the real birthplace of contemporary southern soul (Maurice Wynn, O.B. Buchana, David Brinston, Donnie Ray). Only in a place so bypassed by the headwinds of national media could a flower like southern soul survive. Shreveport, of course, was Vickie Baker's hometown.
A few obscurities persist. "Don't Leave Your Wife," Vickie's comedic duet with Bobby Rush--the main premise of my artist profile written approximately a dozen years ago (below)--can't be confirmed by readers either through retail outlets or YouTube. And "Come To Mama," your Daddy B. Nice's signature single, is also still in limbo, a victim of Vickie's out-of-print, self-published albums. I'd suggest Vickie at least post them on YouTube for the benefit of fans if not re-pressing them for retail. These are key elements in contemporary southern soul's unfolding history--especially the duet with Bobby Rush.
In the meantime, Vickie Baker is popping up every once in awhile on Daddy B. Nice's Concert Calendar, and her new single, "Sneaking And Cheating" (released on Ricky White's new COMBINATION 3 collection--see above) is a positive sign the multi-talented Ms. Baker is not done with southern soul music.
Read the Mike Stephenson interview of Vickie Baker in "Jefferson Blues Magazine".
If You Liked. . . You'll Love
If you liked Dionne Warwick's "Walk On By," you should love Vickie Baker's "Come Home To Mama."
Honorary "B" Side
Come To Mama
CD: Love Strike
|Sample or Buy
CD: Good Loving
Don't Leave Your Wife (w' Bobby Rush)
CD: Love Strike
|Sample or Buy
He Say She Say
CD: I Could Show You
CD: Good Loving
CD: I Could Show You
Ain't Crying No More
CD: Good Loving
Freak On The Side
CD: Don't Gimme No Lip