Abe Baker

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That an individual exists whose credits extend to both the 1963 science fiction film The Brain That Wouldn't Die and the 1957 adult party record tune "My Pussy Belongs to Daddy" is perhaps a reward that…
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That an individual exists whose credits extend to both the 1963 science fiction film The Brain That Wouldn't Die and the 1957 adult party record tune "My Pussy Belongs to Daddy" is perhaps a reward that is best savored by a truly dedicated musical biographer. Abe Baker would probably like to be remembered as a bassist in classy jazz bands led by tricky trumpeter Cootie Williams or the ethereal vocalist Little Jimmy Scott, yet it would be a mistake to overlook this Baker's penchant for offbeat loaves of bread. Jazz had its naughty blues side to it right from the beginning, with many first-class sidemen involved in the backup accompaniment. Many jazz musicians have also sought employment in the film world and have not returned checks from the makers of low-budget horror films. So Baker's presence as a bassist or composer in either such project is not altogether shocking. Bassists have been called "gig whores" simply because of the demand placed on them by enterprising bandleaders, a situation that may have helped Baker feel better about holding the bass chair for rhythm & blues vocalist Faye Richmond and Her Men of Passion. But perhaps no consolation was required to play in a combo that also included the terrific guitarist Larry Lucie and drummer Harlan Williams, another '50s session pro. It was this band that recorded the aforementioned song with the scandalous title, at least scandalous enough for the puritanical '50s, leading to several obscenity convictions for label owner Joe Davis simply for printing the song title on a label sticker.

The Brain That Wouldn't Die featured a music score created by Baker in collaboration with Tony Restaino. Certain facts can be gleaned by a study of the reviews this film has received over the years. It was an independent feature shot in Tarrytown, NY, which should easily explain away the East Coast recording talent on the soundtrack. The plot involved a surgeon whose fast driving causes an accident in which his fiancée is decapitated. He keeps the head alive with his experimental serum and puts the head in a film developing tray; when the head continues to talk, he puts tape over the mouth.

Whether screened in shorter or longer version, not a single review makes any mention of the music, but that's the price a composer pays any time a decapitated head is onscreen.