In the last decade of his life, DeFord was befriended by David
Morton, a Vanderbilt graduate history student and public housing
Morton developed a strong friendship with DeFord and eventually
recorded the only publicly available renditions
of his classic tunes. DeFord also asked Morton to
write his biography.
|"I want you to tell the world about this black man.
He ain't no fool. Just let people know what I am
take the bitter with the sweet. Every day is Sunday with
me. I'm happy go lucky. Amen! "
convinced DeFord to return to the Opry stage four times before he
died. Though he never made the spectacular comeback that Morton
envisioned, DeFord was satisfied with his accomplishments, realizing
at last his preeminence in the field.
|"I'm an old man now. But they never will get out of
a harp what I can. They're just wasting their time trying
to beat me on a harp. Ain't nobody ever beat me down with
no harp. Trying to beat me blowing is like trying to outrun
a Greyhound bus! I got notes harder than Mohammed Ali can
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)