Gary Baker, a 1970 graduate of Lewiston-Porter, is a nationally acclaimed country music singer and songwriter, who won a Grammy in 1995 for the ‘Best Country Song’ ‘I Swear’ co-written with Frank Myers. The song was a #1 country hit for John Michael Montgomery, a #1 pop hit for All-4-One, and has sold over 20 million copies. Gary was raised on a dairy farm in Ransomville New York, from where he attributes his work ethic; knowing you have to work your tail off to be successful. He started playing in bands during high school and at the age of 18 left the farm.
He traveled extensively playing every club and event he could in order to earn his spot in the music industry. Along the way, he worked with other Western New York musicians to include Michael Spriggs (of the Rogues), Mike Caputi, Pete Holguin, Richie Pidanick, Ralph Parker and Steve Nathan. In 1977, he performed and toured with LeBlanc & Carr and later a singer/musician with the country-pop band, The Shooters, who had several songs on the Billboard Country Charts from 1986-1989. Working and living in Nashville, Houston and finally in Muscle Shoals, Alabama where he decided to stay, he began to focus on songwriting.
Since 1988, Baker has been writing songs with Frank J. Myers for many country artists to include Reba McEntire, Restless Heart, Billy Gilman, Joe Thomas, Jessica Simpson, Leann Rimes and the group Alabama. Their 1993 hit ‘Once Upon a Lifetime’ was his first #1 record. He also co-wrote the hit ‘I’m Already There’ for the group Lonestar which was at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles Chart for seven weeks and nominated for a Grammy ‘Song of the Year’. He co-wrote one of Marie and Donny Osmond’s signature songs ‘It’s a Beautiful Life’ and has worked with both of them for many years cutting tracks for their recordings. Gary now has his own recording studio, Noiseblock; a state-of-the-art production facility and publishing company in Florence Alabama. His clients have included 98 Degrees, Percy Sledge and a host of others.
Most recently he produced the Backstreet Boys first ever Christmas record ‘A Very Backstreet Christmas’ featuring a song that he wrote entitled ‘Christmas in New York’. Although Gary is a successful songwriter, musician and producer, he is most passionate about giving back. He and his wife started the Baker Family Foundation, becoming major contributors to their Alabama community and various nonprofit organizations in the United States and around the world, particularly raising money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Gary also still honors his Niagara County roots; where he returns almost every year for nearly the past two decades to perform in the ‘Summer of 69’ music event.
It is a pleasure and honor to induct Gary Baker into the Niagara Falls Music Hall of Fame, Class of 2022