Lennie Baker, Singer of “Blue Moon,” Other Sha Na Na Hits



“Blue Moon” at Winterland, 1973

Lennie Baker was both a singer and saxophone player for Sha Na Na, the  1950s retro rock-and-roll band. He joined soon after their career-launching performance at Woodstock (only their eighth performance as a band), where they went on stage at sunrise on the last day of the festival, just before Jimi Hendrix.

“Ding-a-Ling-a-Ling Ding-Dong” on Sha Na Na TV Show

Baker (April 18, 1946-February 24, 2016) was on board during their long touring career and appeared with Sha Na Na in the movie production of Grease. In the movie, he sings “Blue Moon” as part of the fictional Johnny Casino and the Gamblers. You can also see him in the documentary Festival Express, which chronicles the cross- Canada train ride of musical festival performers, including Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, The Flying Burrito Brothers–and Sha Na Na.

 

“Mr. Bass Man” 

Baker participated in the group’s eponymous TV show, a kind of doo wop Hee Haw, that ran from 1978-1981. He retired from the group in 2000. Before Sha Na Na, Baker played sax for another 1950s-themed group, Danny and the Juniors.