Portrait of Two Ton Baker

Dick "Two Ton" Baker was a giant -- literally and figuratively -- on the Chicago entertainment scene for nearly four decades, from the late 1930s until his death in 1975. He played piano quite well and sang in a pleasing, infectious baritone voice, but mainly, he entertained, in whatever medium. He had several popular radio shows on on the Chicago Tribune's flagship station, WGN, one of which went out nationwide over the Mutual network. He was on the first television broadcast on WGN-TV (April 5, 1948), and later had very popular children's programs on that and other Chicago TV stations.

I am not related to Two Ton Baker--we just share the same name and the same propensity for plumpness. I've been collecting Two Ton Baker records and a few memorabilia items since the mid-1970s, when I first learned of his existence, but I never really learned much about him until late 2003, when I found my way into the archives of the Chicago Tribune, and from there to his daughter, a recently retired Chicago schoolteacher. Finally, I've gathered enough information, photographs, and recordings to document the life of this genial giant of an entertainer in the modern medium of choice, a web site.

If any other collectors have stumbled onto this page, I urge them to share their recordings and other materials with me -- and I will reciprocate.

A biography of Two Ton Baker, with photographs and other illustrations.

Press clips about or mentioning Two Ton Baker, including his obituary.

Some of the many recordings made by Two Ton Baker between 1945 and the early '70s; also a few radio shows and an interview.

The Two Ton Baker Discography.

CD compilations of Two Ton Baker recordings.

Sheet music covers featuring Two Ton Baker, and colorful record sleeves in the Mercury Minature Playhouse series.

NEW APRIL 2014: I've finally found a few video clips of Two Ton Baker to put on this site, but I've still never come across any video of the television appearances that most people associate with Two Ton Baker: His Happy Pirates kiddie show and his many ads for the Riverview Amusement Park. If you have such recordings or know where they might be found, please contact me.

Dick Baker
Auburn, California
Email me at this link.