- From Jenkins, Kentucky. During much of his career, he lived in Gallatin, Tennessee.
- 1957-1984, played fiddle with Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys on four different occasions. His longest stint was 17½ years from March ‘67 to October ‘84.
- Bill Monroe frequently called him “the greatest bluegrass fiddler in the world.”
- First pro job: Don Gibson’s band (1953).
- 1990-91, recorded and toured with a group called “The Masters” (Kenny, Josh Graves, Byron Berline and Eddie Adcock).
- 1990’s, performed and recorded as a duo with Josh Graves.
- 1993, received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
- 1999, was inducted into the IBMA’s Hall of Fame.
- 2011, passed away at the age of 85.
- 2014, banjo player Noam Pikelny (Punch Brothers) won an IBMA Award for his banjo adaptation of Kenny Baker’s classic album Plays Bill Monroe. The album was titled Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe.