Author: David Evans
Source: Blues Revue Quarterly 8, Spring 1993, p14-17
In this column, David Evans attempts to solve the identity of Kid Bailey.
“Around the end of 1963 I purchased a copy of one of the greatest blues albums ever issued, The Mississippi Blues, 1927-1940, Origin Jazz Library 5. The album contained two tracks each by Bukka White, Willie Brown, Kid Bailey, Robert Wilkins, Mississippi John Hurt, William Harris, Skip James, and Son House. Hurt had just recently been rediscovered, and within a few months of this album’s release White, Wilkins, James and House would join him in the ranks of the rediscovered. These five, along with Sleepy John Estes, would form the core of the Deep South blues legends that brought the greatness of early country blues to new audiences at festivals, concerts, and coffee houses.
But what about the other three artists on OJL-5? Son House told us that Willie Brown died in the early 1950’s. This left William Harris and Kid Bailey. Both have eluded all attempts at constructing a biography and thus remaining among the more intriguing names in the country blues pantheon. This column will be an attempt to solve the identity of Kid Bailey. I’m prompted to make this attempt after receiving a copy of another superb reissue product, this time a CD, Masters of the Delta Blues: The Friends of Charlie Patton, Yazoo 2002. This disc contains six of the tracks that were on OJL-5, includingthe two by Kid Bailey, but with their sound much enhanced.”
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Illustrated Kid Bailey’s discography: http://www.wirz.de/music/bailefrm.htm