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DEFORD BAILEY (1899-1982)

DeFord Bailey was born in 1899 at Carthage, Smith County, Tennessee. His mother died when he was a little more than a year old, and his father's sister and her husband reared DeFord. Stricken with infantile paralysis at the age of three years, the bedridden child was given a harmonica as a means of amusement. Bailey overcame polio, although he had a deformed back and never grew taller than four feet, ten inches. However, his skill with… read more

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