Rapid City Journal: On The Record Lonesome Q & A: The Lonesome Jubilee Album Cover

Q: I have always wondered about the man on the cover of John Mellencamp’s album, The Lonesome Jubilee. Who is he?

A: When the time came to take the photo that would grace the cover of “The Lonesome Jubilee,” photographer Skeeter Hagler found the perfect location in the Midway Tavern in Elnora, Indiana. The only thing missing was a local working-class man to sit beside Mellencamp. The bartender suggested Woody Baker. Baker, a welder and metal fabricator, was brought to the photo site straight from work. Before the photo shoot, Mellencamp asked Baker if he knew who he was and Baker replied “I don’t have a clue who you are.” The Lonesome Jubilee became a Top Ten hit in 1987, sold millions of copies, and made Baker a local celebrity. He died in March 2009 at the age of 94.