Pachydermic Pianist Is Featured on W-G-N


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 playing.

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, Jr.

"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

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