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James “Iron Head” Baker


James “Iron Mind” Baker was among the inmates recorded by John and Alan Lomax within the 1930s within the Collection of Congress-sanctioned Archive of American Folk Music task. Baker (his actual name is definitely regarded as Ruben Avery Burrage) got his vibrant jail nickname following a tree dropped on him throughout a function detail, even though the tree were left with many damaged branches, Baker surfaced unscathed. Small else is well known about the person, although it is definitely obvious that Baker was a normally gifted vocalist, who composed in psychological nuance what he lacked in professional skill and chance, and John and Alan Lomax came back to him again and again for folk materials, so much such that it can be done to track Baker’s movements with the jail system by just listing his saving times. On July 5, 1933, he documented five songs at Central Condition Plantation in Sugarland, TX, accompanied by eight even more there (like the 1st recorded edition of “Dark Betty”) in Dec 1933. He documented 14 even more items (including three requires of “Small John Henry”) at Central Condition Farm in-may 1934, and nine even more tracks in Oct of 1934. He was in Dallas, TX, 2 yrs later on Apr 7, 1936, where he documented two even more songs. Per month later on discovers Baker incarcerated in the condition penitentiary in Rainford, FL, where on, may 3 and could 5 he documented two different variations of “DECREASE Aged Hannah.” Still later on within the month, on, may 15, he monitored two songs in the condition penitentiary in Columbia, SC. By Might 29, 1936, Baker is within Washington, D.C., where he documented almost two dozen tunes, apparently by this time around a free guy, although that didn’t last, because 3 years later on he was back again spending penance in classic Texas, saving three songs at Ramsey Condition Plantation in Otey, TX.

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