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Bailey Brothers


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There are two groups called Bailey Brothers.

1) Charlie and Danny Bailey were extremely popular radio singers in West Virginia and Tennessee during the late ’40s through the ’50s who were among the few fraternal duets to successfully make the transition from old-time music to bluegrass. The Baileys were born to a large, musically inclined family in Happy Valley, Tennessee. Charlie made his professional singing debut in 1936 when he teamed up with Charlie Cope and began touring. He and brother Danny teamed shortly after, and soon they were singing on local radio. In 1940 they went to Knoxville to play on WNOX and WROL, and soon gained a devoted following. But in 1941, just before they were to make their recording debut, Charlie was inducted into the Army. While he was gone Danny founded the Happy Valley Boys, and remained in Knoxville. By 1944, the Happy Valley Boys had moved to Nashville and were appearing on the Grand Ole Opry. The group changed personnel when two members were drafted. They were replaced by Charlie and Lester Cope. In 1946, Charlie returned and the Copes left to find their own fame.

Not long after, the Happy Valley Boys became a full-fledged bluegrass band; joined by fiddler L.E. White, banjo picker Wiley Birchfield and bass player Jake Tullock, Charlie played mandolin and guitar while Danny played guitar. With this line-up they waxed six songs in late 1947, among them the first recorded version of “The Sweetest Gift,” by J.B. Coates. They made two more singles before moving to a radio station in Raleigh, North Carolina. There, fiddler Clarence “Tater” Tate and banjo player Hoke Jenkins joined the Happy Valley Boys.


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