|Intro||American rhythm and blues singer|
|A.K.A.||Yvonne Mills, Yvonne Baker Mills|
|Is||Singer R&B musician|
|From||United States of America|
|Death||3 May 2020|
Yvonne (née Mills) Baker was an American rhythm and blues singer. She was a member of the American doo-wop group The Sensations. Her sister, Ernestine (Mills) Rady, was also a R&B singer.
The group The Sensations was formed in 1954 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was initially known as The Cavaliers with Tommy Wicks (tenor), Alphonso Howell (bass), Roosevelt Simmons, Warren Sherrill, and Tody Mott. Shortly after, Warren and Tody left, leaving a vacant spot for a singer. At the time, Tommy Wicks was dating Yvonne and he suggested the group add Yvonne as the singer. Yvonne joined the group, but the execs at Atlantic Records (Herb Abramson, Jerry Wexler, and Ahmet Ertegun) felt the name "Cavaliers" wasn't suitable for an act with a female lead. Upon Tommy Wicks' suggestion, they renamed the group The Sensations.
In 1955, The Sensations recorded "Yes Sir That's My Baby". It's a 1925 song with the music written by Walter Donaldson and the lyrics by Gus Kahn. The Sensations' cover of this song was a hit and reached #15 on the US R&B chart in 1956. Another song "Please Mr. Disc Jockey" (originally by Billy Dawn Smith and William Miller) reached #13 that year. By 1957, the group was managed by Ulysses Kae Williams.
On November 17, 1955, the group appeared at Philadelphia Town Hall with Ray Charles.
Tommy and Yvonne broke up and Yvonne eventually married Frank Baker, a former road manager for the group. In 1957, she gave birth to a daughter LaVern (named after one of her favorite singers, LaVern Baker).
Yvonne left The Sensations in early 1958 after "Kiddy Car Lover," the sixth single and fourth consecutive stiff. The rest of the group disbanded shortly after.
In 1961, Alphonso Howell persuaded Yvonne to revive The Sensations with two different members—Richard Curtain (tenor) and Sam Armstrong (baritone). They won a contract with Chess Records subsidiary label Argo Records. In the summer of 1961, the group recorded "Music, Music, Music" (written by Stephan Weiss and Bernie Baum), which reached #12 on the R&B chart and #54 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was their first R&B hit in five years and the first Pop hit ever. A few months later, they released "Let Me In", which ended up being their biggest success, peaking at #2 R&B and #4 on the Hot 100 in 1962.
The Sensations disbanded for good in 1966 and Yvonne later started a solo career, recording a number of tracks, including the hit "You Didn't Say a Word" (originally by Billy Jackson, Joe Renzetti, and Jean Wells) for Parkway Records in 1967.
Yvonne passed away on May 3, 2020.