’80s Hitmaker Razzy Bailey Dead at 82
Country hitmaker Razzy Bailey has died. The "Midnight Hauler" singer is known for a string of 13 Top 10 hits in the early 1980s, including five No. 1 songs on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart.
"Loving Up a Storm" was the first of four straight No. 1 hits for Bailey in 1980. "I Keep Coming Back" and "Friends" join "Midnight Hauler" in rounding out his streak. A fifth would come in with 1981's "She Left Love All Over Me."
Sonically, Bailey brought a gentler, string-led sound to the format that fit in well with the trending Urban Cowboy movement.
Bailey's career started with a song called "9,999,999" that he wrote and recorded in 1966. It did not chart, but a version released by Dickey Lee in 1976 reached the Top 5 on Billboard's chart.
That cut, as well as some independent success, led to him signing a record deal and releasing "What Time Do You Have to Be Back to Heaven" in 1978. The song was the first of a string of five straight Top 10 hits.
Makin Friends was Bailey's highest-charting album, landing at No. 8 in September 1981. He'd continue recording into the late '80s, and notched one more radio success with a cover of Wilson Pickett's "In the Midnight Hour" in 1984.
An obituary confirms that Bailey — whose given name was Rasie Michael Bailey — died on Wednesday (Aug. 4), at the age of 82. The Oak Ridge Boys marked Bailey's death on social media that evening, saying, "Rest in peace brother Razzy Bailey. Another sad loss."
A Five Points, Ala., native, Bailey died at his home in Goodlettsville, Tenn. He is survived by his wife, Faye Bright Bailey, and seven children: daughters Tammy Paxton (and her partner Kip), Jenita Hefler (and her partner Garry), Jenevra Mayberry, Teressa Bennett (and her partner Eddie) and Paula Butler Baxter, and sons Rasie M. Bailey Jr. and Douglas Alan Watson (and his partner Tammy).
Bailey also leaves behind several grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as "a host of extended family members, friends, bandmates and fans who shared a special kind of love with him."
In lieu of flowers, Bailey's family is asking for donations in his name to the Music Health Alliance.