Razzy Bailey - vocals, guitar; Doug Martin - keyboard; Roy Spordon - rhythm guitar; Mark Ferguson - lead guitar; Dick Manette - drums; Milton Gavender - bass; Unknown - sax
This performance on the Silver Eagle Cross Country radio broadcast is similar to the show recorded a year later, in Nashville in 1985. It is shorter, however, and some of the material is different from the other shows Bailey recorded for the series between 1981 and '85. Opening with his country hit, "Anywhere There's A Jukebox," Bailey and his band offer up a platter of popular songs from his long list of original titles. In addition, he spices up the show with a number of interesting covers including "Lovin' Up A Storm," "The First Day That You're Gone," and "I Ain't Got No Business Doin' Business With You."
What may strike the country music fan as odd was the deep appreciation Bailey has always had for traditional American blues and the classic R&B hits of the 1960s. In what was a country broadcast to a strictly country fan base, he manages to successfully throw in covers of Wilson Pickett's "In The Midnight Hour" and the Eddie Floyd Stax Records classic," Knock On Wood." Later in the show when he decides to explore blues, he does Willie Nelson's "Night Life," and Blind Willie McTell's "Statesboro Blues," which most people know as an Allman Brothers song.
Born Erastus Michael, "Razzy" Bailey has spent over 50 years in the music business. He made his first country recordings in 1949, at the tender age of 10, but amounted to little more than a novelty child act. After high school he married and had a family, which forced him to work day jobs and only perform sporadically between 1956 and 1966. In 1966, he submitted a number of demos to Atlantic Records, and one of the house producers, Bill Lowery, agreed to take him under his wing. Bailey's recordings for Atlantic (which included a house band featuring Freddy Weller from Paul Revere and The Raiders and a then-unknown Billy Joel), failed to garner any significant sales, and two other projects - a pop band called Daily Bread, and another solo venture under the name Razzy - also failed.
By 1976, he had resigned himself to leaving the music industry when one of his songs, "9,999,999 Tears," from the '66 Atlantic sessions, was re-cut by country artist Dickey Lee. Lee took the song to #3, and cut another Bailey original, "Peanut Butter," which hit the Top 20. The renewed interest in his songs prompted Bailey to reshape his own career as a performer and recording artist. He was signed to RCA, and released the single "What Time Do You Have to Be Back in Heaven" in 1978, the first of five Top 10 country hits that he'd receive up until 1981.