'TWO-TON' BAKER TO PLAY
Pachydermic Pianist Is Featured on W-G-N
BEFORE FESTIVAL CROWD
BY PHILIP MAXWELL
A cyclone of rhythm will strike Soldiers' field Saturday
night, Aug. 18, at the 16th annual Chicago Music Festival. for
one of the attractions will be "Two-Ton Baker, the Music Maker."
This behemoth of pianists, who weighs 340 pounds and stands 6
feet 2 inches, has agreed to let his hair down at Soldiers'
field. And when Richard Evans Baker gets going on a number like
"One Meat Ball," he may shake his head so hard that his long,
black hair will form an umbrella over the midget piano he will be
A Self-Made Pianist
"Two-Ton," known to thousands of radio listeners because of
his appearances each morning and afternoon on W-G-N, is a Chicago
product. he was born at 700 Van Buren st. and attended Dore
grade school. Even then he thought the combination of "Do" and
"Re" in the school's name held a significance for him. Baker
never took a piano lesson. His family moved to Berwyn and he was
graduated from Morton High school in 1933.
He played for dances and, soon after his graduation, joined
the Charley Mack reviews and traveled throughout the east and
south. Baker knows 1,000 songs from memory, and composed his own
theme song, "We Belong Together."
Married and Has Son, 6
Baker is married and the father of a son, 6, whom he has
nicknamed Jughead. The boy's real name is Richard Evans Baker,
"Two Ton" hasn't decided what he will play at the music
festival, but his repertoire includes the "Machine Gun Song,"
"Her Tears Flowed Like Wine," and a medley including "I Want a
Girl" and "When You Wore a Tulip."
Baker has entertained at thousands of service camps, war
hospitals, and bond rallies.
© Chicago Tribune, August 10, 1945
See original clip
Next: Meet Baker, the Music Maker! (9/26/48)
Return to press clips list
Return to Two Ton Baker home page