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- George Baker -

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GEORGE BAKER was born in Birkenhead on 10 February 1885. As a child he played violin, piano and flute. He became organist and choirmaster at the Woodford Parish Church in Cheshire in 1901 and later took on similar posts at two churches in Birkenhead.

    Baker went on to study singing at the Royal College of Music. In the 1920s he sang with the Carl Rosa and British National Opera companies and made his first recording, for Pathé,in 1909. In 1918 he appeared as Ko-Ko in the first complete recording of 'The Mikado'. He was also a principal singer in the first English recordings of Wagner's 'Parsifal', Coleridge-Taylor's 'Hiawatha', Strauss's 'Salome' and Beethoven's 'Choral Symphony'.GeorgeBaker.jpg - 56293 Bytes

    George Baker sang the vocals in a number of dance band recordings under a variety of 'aliases' including ‘Arthur George’, 'Victor Conway’ and 'George Barnes’. He was also ‘Uncle George’ in an early series of popular children’s recordings. That he was one of the great singers of his era there is no doubt; he was also successful as an administrator in such organisations as the Royal Philharmonic Society and the BBC Overseas Service.

    His first wife, Kathleen Hilliard, died in 1933. He later married Olive Groves, also a fine singer, who often appeared in broadcasts during and after the war.

    George Baker made his last recording in 1962 as Robin Oakapple in ‘Ruddigore’. He died on 8 January 1976 in his 91st year.

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