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Victor Bailey

Victor Bailey was born in Philadelphia, on March 27, 1960 into a musical family so there was music playing constantly from the moment he arrived on the planet. His dad, Morris Bailey Jr., is a master composer, arranger, producer, saxophonist, artist and teacher.

During the 60's, 70's and 80's his songs were recorded by some of music's greatest R&B artists including, Patti LaBelle, The Stylistics, Blue Magic, The Spinners, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes and international artist Nina Simone. As a saxophonist he played with cats like McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Smith, Lee Morgan and Reggie Workman. My uncle, Donald Bailey, is a legendary jazz drummer, probably best known as the drummer in the trio of groundbreaking jazz organist Jimmy Smith. My sister, Brenda, sang with the hit making, disco era group Creme D'Cocoa. My brother, Morris III "Doc", never practiced a day in his life yet can write, sing, and play any instument. Even my mom Vera had a wonderful singing voice although she never pursued music as a career.

And then there's a great family music mystery. Once when my dad and uncle Donald were young, they were in the house playing and my grandfather, Morris Sr., came downstairs, grabbed the drumsticks from Uncle Donald and played the drums so well no one could believe it. Even after doing so, however, he never talked about how or why he could play the drums so no one ever knew. After he passed away, while going through his things, the family found a professional 8x10 black and white photo of him sitting at the drumset with his name at the bottom. A standard show business publicity photo. So, he obviously had some professional experience at some time but no one knows when or where.

Our house was filled with music, with singers and musicians coming and going practically every day. From the time I was born I was drawn to music and showed a natural ability to play anything I heard on any instrument. One day when I was seven I was at my dad's office on Philadelphia's South Broad Street. He was asleep on the couch and I went to the piano and started playing Bill Withers hit song "Lean On Me". My dad rolled over and said, "Who's that playing?" When he saw it was me he said, "How do you know how to do that?" I said, "I don't know," I just did. After that, I went everywhere dad went. So I spent literally everyday after school and on weekends somewhere in a studio or backstage at a gig. I was getting to watch great R&B people like, The Stylistics, or Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Or I might walk in from school and there would be Philly jazz legends like Odean Pope, Eddie Green and Tyrone Brown.

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Photos

Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Slippin' 'N' Trippin'

Studio V Productions
2009

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That's Right

ESC Records
2001

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Low Blow

Zebra Records
2000

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Low Blow

ESC Records
1999

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Bottom's Up

Atlantic Records
1989

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Videos

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