I dedicate 'Harmony' in loving memory to B. J. (Betty Jane) Baker

I am a man of conviction
A man of passion
Standing center stage
Bathed in clear-light
Transmuting images into lyrics                                           
For my sprit to sing....
Angles singing background
Provide the harmony
For this discordant note

Blake Xolton

Copyright ©2005 Blake Xolton


by Michael J. Weldon 

B. J. BAKER (Betty Jane Phillips) from Birmingham, AL, sang in big bands and had her own radio show at age 14. The 1944 Miss America contestant became a backup singer who worked on hits by Elvis (“I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You”), Sinatra (“That’s Life”), Sam Cooke (“You Send Me”), Bobby Darin (“Dream Lover”), Lloyd Price (“Stagger Lee”), Jackie Wilson (“Baby Workout”), and the Righteous Brothers (“You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”) and selected and directed background singers for recording sessions. She also dubbed the vocal for Nancy Kwan in FLOWER DRUM SONG (61), appeared on 60s TV shows and did voices for cartoons. She was married to Mickey Rooney, Buddy Baker, who directed the Disney music department, and legendary jazz guitarist Barney Kessel.

Betty was the most gracious southern genteel woman I have ever known. Her angelic voice and gentle touch were a healing balm to all who knew her.

Blake Xolton