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Robert Fontenot

Mickey Baker of Mickey and Sylvia dies at 87

By December 3, 2012

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McHouston Baker, better known as the "Mickey" half of Mickey and Sylvia of "Love is Strange" fame, has died in his Toulouse, France home at the age of 87 . That deathless duet, where Mickey reeled off classic blues guitar licks while asking Sylvia Vandepool "How do you call your loverboy?" was penned by Bo Diddley under an assumed name and hit big in 1956; it was a major influence on Buddy Holly and a young Jimi Hendrix, and its popularity has only grown over time after being featured in the movies Dirty Dancing and Casino.

Mickey, who also played on the Drifters' "Money Honey," Big Joe Turner's "Shake, Rattle and Roll," and Ruth Brown's "Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean," grew tired of rock not long after the initial success of "Strange"' and moved to Europe, where he gained a whole new level of fame as a jazz and blues guitarist, collaborating with everyone from Coleman Hawkins to Memphis Slim. He is survived by his wife Marie and two children.

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