Born in Georgia and raised on gospel music, René Bailey took a long detour into the worlds of blues, jazz and R & B before settling down in Kerhonkson. Today she is the music director for the Samsonville United Methodist Church, but over her extensive musical career she has performed with such luminaries as Louis Armstrong, B. B. King, Aretha Franklin, Dave Brubeck, Ruth Brown, Paul Anka and Sam Cooke. Bailey spent 20 years as a featured vocalist at the Peg Leg Bates Country Club, and for an equally long time she has fronted the mid-Hudson’s own Saints of Swing.
Now the Saints – whose wide-ranging repertoire also encompasses the sounds of New Orleans and Motown, Latin and klezmer – have cut a new CD featuring Bailey singing mighty gospel standards. It’s titled Good Old Songs, out on the Lone Pine Road label, and amazingly, it’s Bailey’s first-ever record. To hear some samples, check out http://lonepineroad.com/rene-bailey.
A concert and launch party will be held at the Rosendale Theatre this Sunday, August 20 at 3 p.m. Tickets cost $20 in advance – available online at www.brownpapertickets.com or at the Rosendale Theatre box office – and $25 at the door. It’s a fundraising event to help the not-for-profit community cinema make it through its slow season, and the price of admission includes refreshments. Copies of Good Old Songs will be available for sale at the event.