DEFORD BAILEY: A LEGEND LOST Photos of DeFord Bailey Courtesy of, L-R: Dennis Wile; Les Leverett; David Morton
 
TIMELINE
BIOGRAPHY
MUSIC

BIOGRAPHY
EARLY YEARS | OPRY YEARS | POST-OPRY YEARS

Post-Opry Years
The Shoeshine Business
The New Music Scene
The Finale

The New Music Scene

DeFord rarely made public appearances after he left the Opry. He played for family, friends, and customers, but turned down many offers, including a lucrative offer to play in a Burt Reynolds film. He chose not to perform professionally because he was wary of being cheated or used for someone else's gain.

By the 1960's, the Nashville music scene was exploding. Most of the Opry cast that was known to DeFord was fading away. Another type of music was emerging and DeFord would play a small part in its birth. Soul music almost made Nashville a major black music center. In the 1940's, WSM rival WLAC had become a nationwide forum for rhythm and blues records and in the 1950's, Nashville had a number of independent record companies featuring black music. Along Jefferson Street, clubs rang with the new sound and DeFord's son, DeFord Junior, became involved in this new music scene.

DeFord Junior often appeared on "Night Train," a syndicated television show that featured local soul music. While working on the show, DeFord Junior played with another young guitarist who would shortly leave Nashville for the west coast. His name was Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix was close to the Bailey family, often eating and visiting with DeFord Senior at family get-togethers.>>


Source for the material in this section, including excerpts:
David C. Morton with Charles K. Wolfe, DeFord Bailey: A Black Star in Early Country Music (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1991)


EARLY YEARS | OPRY YEARS | POST-OPRY YEARS

Post-Opry Years
1 | 2 | 3

 

 

TIMELINE | BIOGRAPHY | MUSIC
WEB CREDITS

© 2002 Nashville Public Television, Inc.
All rights reserved