b. 1 March 1921, Withernsea, Yorkshire, England, d. 7 December 1999, Chichester, West Sussex, England. After taking piano lessons at an early age Baker took up the trumpet and played in brass bands. He moved to London in the late 30s to become a professional musician and joined Sandy Powell’s Concert Party. During the next few years he established himself as an outstanding technician, capable of playing in any jazz or dance band. In the early 40s, he played in the bands of Lew Stone and George Chisholm before joining Ted Heath in 1944. He remained with Heath until 1949, and was featured on many recording sessions and countless concerts. In the early 50s, he was regularly heard on BBC radio, leading his own band, the Baker’s Dozen, on a weekly late-night show that lasted throughout the decade. In the 60s, he led his own groups and recorded film soundtracks, all the time building his reputation as one of the best trumpet/cornet/flügelhorn players in the world, even though he only rarely played outside the UK. At the end of the decade he was featured in Benny Goodman’s UK band.
From Encyclopedia of Popular Music in Oxford Reference.