Dee Baker With His Diamond Circle Award
Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters' Past President Chuck Street presented the organization's Diamond Circle Award to Dee Baker at the February 10, 2017 luncheon honoring George Schlatter. Below are Mr. Street's remarks introducing Mr. Baker.
Today's Diamond Circle inductee began his life's journey on a small farm in rural Iowa. His father was a typical farmer. He grew corn, wheat, oats and raised some cattle, pigs and chickens.
At age eight, Dee discovered a passion for dancing and his parents were very supportive. He and a partner used to dance on the State Fair circuit. Eventually he enrolled at Iowa State University. But he was impatient, and with his parents permission, he dropped out of college. In fact his parents drove him to Los Angeles to pursue his career as a performer. Within five days after arriving in Hollywood Dee, had rented an apartment and got a job in the mail room at CBS TV City.
But after three months at TV City, Dee accepted an offer to dance in some of the shows in Las Vegas. He joined the legendary choreographer Roland Dupree and rehearsed with a Star act, but didn’t get booked. Then he landed a job dancing at the famous Moulin Rouge, at the same time freelancing as a dancer on shows such as “Dobie Gillis” and “Dick Clark’s American Band Stand.”
Then off to Las Vegas to perform at the Desert Inn. After fulfilling a six-month commitment in the U.S. Army, Dee returned to Los Angeles, went back to CBS and even opened a dance studio.
He became a commercial coordinator and eventually worked his way up to positions on the third floor at TV City.
Of course, professional dancing is a young person's profession, so over time Dee honed his skills as a TV producer. He worked for Dick Clark and Bob Banner and Associates handling budgets and scheduling. And Dee became very skilled at producing and overseeing Location Specials. He worked with Olympic ice skaters Peggy Fleming and Dorothy Hamel. His location work took him to many exotic locales, including Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Canada, Mexico, London, Rome, Greece and Hawaii.
Over the years Dee served as associate producer for TV specials that were hosted by Cher, Perry Como, Donnie & Marie and David Steinberg, to mention a few.
He even produced a TV segment for Neil Diamond and Allan and Marilyn Bergman which featured the classic song "You Don't Bring Me Flowers."
Dee also did corporate work at MGM. All totaled, he worked in television for 50 years. Over the last several years Dee has been an active member of Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters serving on the PPB Board of Directors.
Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome the newest member of the PPB Diamond Circle...Mr. Dee Baker.
Dee Baker Accepting His Diamond Circle Award From Chuck Street