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Ray Bailey

Ray's Story

Ray bailey was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1956, to musician parents. As a young child he listened to his father's jazz records while his mother, a professional saxophonist, taught him chords on the piano. Ray moved from the piano to the trumpet when he was seven, but in 1968 he heard his sister's record, "Jimi Hendrix Smash Hits" and his life changed forever. He switched to the guitar and never looked back. Growing up in Watts Bailey absorbed numerous musical influences from the clubs, the street, and the radio. Funk, Doo-wop, Rock, Soul, and most importantly Blues swirled around young Ray as he developed his chops.

At age 15 Ray Bailey started hanging around Laura "Mama" Gross' legendary Blues club, "Babe's & Ricky's Inn", located at 53rd and Central Ave. Although too young to be inside, he was befriended by Laura in what would become a lifelong relationship. Through her he got his first paying gig, working for Blues legend Lowell Fulsom as a sideman. For the next 15 years Ray worked with a veritable who's who of West Coast Bluesmen; Smokey Wilson, Phillip Walker, Sonny Green, and others. Working for local organ player Jimmy Caravan he started to sing as well as learn how to front a band. After Caravan's death in 1990 Ray formed his own band and soon was playing a Sunday night gig at the King King club in Hollywood. Word spread about this dynamic young Bluesmaster and soon Bailey was asked to record a low budget album by Producer Crosby Tyler. The result was "Satan's Horn", recorded in one marathon 9 hour session. Upon its release the Ray was named "Artist Most Deserving of Wider Recognition" by Living Blues Magazine, and the record was bought by Zoo/BMG records. Ray started to play internationally and the future looked bright.

However the illness of his parents, coupled with personal setbacks derailed what had been a promising career. For almost a decade Bailey retired from active performance. However in 2009 Bailey recorded "Resurrection" his live comeback album, in his beloved "Babe's & Ricky's Inn". Well received and played widely on radio and internet broadcasts across the globe, this CD brought Ray back into the spotlight again. A studio album, "Cruisin For A Bluesin" followed in 2012 and Bailey continues to evolve and excel as one of the finest Blues players around.

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