[Here is another sketch of a radio favorite. Save it for your scrapbook.]

Dick ["Two Ton"] Baker can't explain how he learned to play the piano, claims he "just fell into it!" Considering that the deal involved more than 300 pounds of man, the result must have been quite a splash.

In fact, his debut on W-G-N in a new series of early morning piano and song programs was preceded by an incident that proves that. "Two Ton" hasn't stopped "falling into it." To give a sample of his work prior to his first broadcast on W-G-N, he sat down at a studio piano and promptly reduced the bench to a neat little pile of kindling wood.

Dick Baker has been doing radio work around Chicago for four years. He himself didn't recognize the large and appreciative audience he has won until he went on a war bond tour recently and found that everywhere he went people knew him. Tho born and raised in Chicago, Baker made his radio debut in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1932, while playing with a band. That also was the start of his professional career and since then he has appeared in vaudeville and on countless radio programs.

Explaining how he learned to play the piano without ever having taken a lesson, Baker revealed that he surprised his parents when he was three years old by playing "Yankee Doodle." He picked the song out on the piano after listening to a phonograph record. Incidentally, this is still one of his favorite ways of catching on to a new tune as he doesn't read music readily. At the age of 4 he began accompanying his mother, who was a semi-professional singer, in performances at lodges and community affairs.

© Chicago Tribune, May 21, 1944

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