I'm so glad I found your tribute web site to Joe Baker. My name is Bob Hughes. I am the guy who discovered and named Joe. Here is the story behind Golden Joe Baker.
I don't quite remember the year but it was probably 64 or 65. I had a 5 piece band called "Bobby & the Galaxies". We performed every Saturday night in the Lincoln Park, Amusement park, Million Dollar Ballroom, in Westport, Mass. We always had over 1000 kids there, and each week we would have a guest star. (details at my web site www.BobHughesMusic.net) They were the greats of the day, Dion, Lou Christi, Chubby Checker, Jerry Lee Lewis, and many more. My band would back them up every week. After our gig, my band would head to Dirty Georges' Coney Island Hot Dogs, in Fall River, Mass. That is where Joe Baker worked behind the counter. Each week he would tell me how great a singer he was and how he sang just like Elvis and plead with me to let him sing with my band. I finally relented and said OK for the next week. He asked me to pick him up, since he didn't have a car. I agreed. When I picked him up, he had a newspaper wrapped around something. I asked him, what it was. He said his stage outfit. He unwrapped it and showed me a suit and pair of shoes, he had spray painted gold with gold dust flakes and paint. We had no rehearsals, just a list of songs he wanted to sing. When I introduced him I called him Golden Joe Baker, due to his suit. The name stuck with him forever. He was a huge hit and everyone was rolling in the aisles, laughing at his performance. Of course his singing was bad but that just added to the hilarity of it all. Joe didn't realize he couldn't sing. But it really didn't matter because he was so immersed in being Elvis that it really went over. The girls would scream and ask him to autograph different body parts. Well, I was a business major in college, and recognized a good thing. My band played lots of college fraternity parties and we took Joe with us everywhere. In 69, my day job transferred me to New Jersey and I lost track of Joe. Several years later, I came back to Fall River to visit my folks, and saw in the Newspaper that "Golden Joe Baker, the hottest act in Boston and on Cape Cod" was back in Fall river for 1 night only, at a local club. I went to see him. There I met his manager, and a former acquaintance of mine, Larry Santos. He told me how Joe had gotten very good and professional now. He was performing with some other former acquaintances of mine, a good group called "Talk of the Town". When he came out on stage, I could see a real professional outfit. He still sang badly but he had developed a very funny, and slick act. The next time I ran into Joe was at the Sands, in Vegas. This was in the late 90's. I was his guest at the Viva Las Vegas show. Years later I was his guest again at the Stratosphere. The last time I saw him was in Las Vegas Mc Larren airport. We were both waiting for our flights. Him to Boston and me to Maryland. We reminisced about the old days. I was very sad when my former bass player Rick Philbert, sent me an e-mail with Joe's obituary. He was one of a kind and a great entertainer. Did you know he played for a surprise birthday party for Jay Leno? I still think of him often. Good Luck with your site and I hope you find some videos. Let me know if you have any questions.
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