Belle Baker


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(1895–1957), singer. Born on New York's Lower East Side, she first appeared on stage playing a boy in Jacob Adler's production of The Homecoming. Singing in Yiddish productions, Baker came to the attention of vaudeville agents and was soon playing major variety houses. Although she made her Broadway debut in a minor part in Vera Violetta (1911), her only important musical comedy appearance was as star of the short-lived Betsy (1926), in which she introduced Irving Berlin's “Blue Skies.” The short, dark, plump entertainer with a deep, resonant voice remained primarily a vaudeville star, helping popularize such songs as “My Yiddische Mama,” “All of Me,” “Put It On, Take It Off, Wrap It Up and Take It Home,” and “Cohen Owes Me $97.” Baker made one of her last appearances at the Palace special bill in 1950.

From The Oxford Companion to American Theatre in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Theatre.

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