Conceived in the summer of 1947 as an octet illogically named the Noxious Nine, the Baker’s Dozen was born that fall in New Haven.
— Yale Banner Yearbook, 1949

From The Noxious Nine... to The Baker's Dozen

One summer evening in 1947, nine friends gathered at a party in Litchfield, Connecticut. After a night of much carousing and even more wine, they found themselves entertaining all those present with the magic of impromptu singing.

As the night ended, the friends - eight of whom attended Yale (the ninth spent his school years at (sigh) Harvard) - left the party more than a little intrigued with what had just transpired. In merry jest, they christened themselves 'The Noxious Nine' after the Cantab in their midst, who was, in the view of the eight Yalies, the noxious ninth.

For the rest of the summer, enamored with the music they made together, the nine friends continued to pursue what they had created so unexpectedly that night in Litchfield. In the words of original member T.C. Babbitt: "It was an evening of wine and women, and song seemed to arise of itself. The results were so satisfying, that it was decided then and there to get together again, to rehearse, so that the results might sound satisfying even when sober."

The legendary gathering in Litchfield prompted something that would become greater than none of the original nine could have imagined. After those first few rehearsals, the members began to notice that something special was beginning among them. And they allowed it to unfold. The Noxious Nine continued throughout the summer of 1947, learning more music, singing wherever they could, and deepening the bonds of friendship that had led them all to sing together in the first place.


That fall, after a summer of singing together, the eight Yalies returned to New Haven - and it wasn't long before they decided to continue their commitment to music and friendship. They added five members and, rid of their 'noxious ninth', rechristened themselves the 'Baker's Dozen.' Sixty seven years, twenty-six albums, and well over three hundred members later, the Baker's Dozen carries on, now possessed with a rich history, and still centered around a mutual love of music and the deep friendships among its members.