Mickey Baker was an in-demand session guitarist working with people like Ray Charles since the late 1940's. After he met with success forming the duo Mickey & Sylvia, authoring the Rock'n'Roll Classic "Love Is Strange" in 1956 (that was later covered by Buddy Holly and also made a hit by The Everly Bros... !), he wrote THEE Method Book on Electric guitar playing : "Mickey Baker's Complete Course in Jazz Guitar: A Modern Method in How-To-Play Jazz and Hot Guitar". But, after one too many racist attack (where he lost one of his eyes and had to wear shades for the rest of his life!), he came to found refuge to France which has traditionally played sanctuary for visiting jazzmen such as Miles Davis and Quincy Jones... where he established himself marrying one of his singers from his French orchestra and later working as a major Music arranger for most of the Yeye records of the mid-sixties French scene (most notably Françoise Hardy, Sylvie Vartan, Chantal Goya ... and French Beat king, Ronnie Bird!). At that time, he was a very common figure on French TV and films (Watch for his cameo in Godard's "Masculin, Féminin" where he directs a shy Chantal Goya playing a lead role facing Nouvelle Vague anti-hero Jean-Pierre Léaud! And his appearances in cult Youth Pop TV program : "Bouton Rouge"). He even co-produced records with B-movie actress Françoise Deldick singing and arranged with her a reworking of his classic "Love is Strange" in an Erotic Pop groove style retitled : "Hm! Hm!"(itself a Swingin' Mademoiselle classic in it's own right!), and this a good full year before Serge Gainsbourg made out an International hit of the genre with Jane Birkin in "Je t'Aime, Moi non plus" !
... After buying a house outside the French South-Western town of Toulouse, he gradually disappeared from the scene with his second French wife (another of his chorus girls!) where he finally passed away just last day (Nov. 27th/ 2012) after a long illness, becoming nearly blind, and from old age : he was 87! Rest in Peace Mickey B. :-(
Here's a live French TV clip, reminding us how he once worked with Ray Charles :