The Bailes Brothers -- Walter and Johnnie Bailes -- followed in the path of many other "brother bands" such as the Monroe Brothers and the Blue Sky Boys, although the Bailes's came to the game a little late, and hit their peak in the late 1940s, just as the brother act sound was giving way to larger, more aggressive bluegrass arrangements. A number of high-powered country performers were in their orbit: steel guitarist Shot Jackson backed them for a while, as did Fiddlin' Arthur Smith; before forming a partnership with his brother, Johnnie Bailes was in a duo with future country star Red Sovine... But the essence of the Bailes' sound was their adherence to old, bedrock rural themes. Fans of the brother act style will find enduring favorites in the Baileses... Here's a quick look at their work...
The Bailes Brothers "Oh So Many Years" (Bear Family, 2002)
Walter and Johnnie Bailes followed in the path of many other "brother bands" such as the Monroe Brothers and the Blue Sky Boys, although the Bailes's came to the game a little late, and hit their peak in the late 1940s, just as the brother act sound was giving way to larger, more aggressive bluegrass arrangements. Even with added musicians (these recordings from 1945-47 feature added guitar, bass and even a steel guitar), they sounded remarkably like the Blue Sky Boys, so much so that they seem to lack an original style of their own. No matter, however: if you like the style to begin with, then these are grand recordings, fun of energy and life, tight harmonies and tremendous musical drive. Most of the material is religious, including fine gospel songs such as "Do You Expect A Reward From God" and "Has The Devil Got A Mortgage On Your Soul"... Mighty fine listening for fans of the old-timey sound!
The Bailes Brothers "Sing Their Hearts Out For You" (Binge Disc/Cattle Records, 2005)
Bailes Brothers "Early Radio Favorites" (Old Homestead) (LP)
Bailes Brothers "Gospel Reunion" (Starday) (LP)
The Bailes Brothers "Remember Me: The Legendary King Sessions 1946" (Bear Family, 2012)
This disc compiles material recorded in 1946 for the fabled King label; a second disc, Standing Somewhere In The Shadows collects tracks from the early '50s, all of it accompanied by copious archival material and Bear Family's trademark high-quality sound. Great stuff; highly recommended!
The Bailes Brothers "Standing Somewhere In The Shadows: The Legendary King Sessions 1953, Plus" (Bear Family, 2012)
Hick Music Index