Barry Bailey, the guitarist for the Southern rock band Atlanta Rhythm Section, died recently at the age of 73. Bailey died in his sleep on March 12 following a lengthy battle with multiple sclerosis, according to Atlanta-based TV station WXIA-TV. The Atlanta Rhythm Section’s official Facebook page honored the artist’s memory with the following message:
“Unsung. When people spoke about Barry Bailey’s guitar playing, you’d hear it a lot. As a result, not enough people were aware of his work.”
The message went on to say:
“Barry, you may have gone unnoticed… yet you made others sing. Speaking on behalf of all original, former, and current members of ARS… Thank you for raising the standard so high.”
All About Barry Bailey and the Atlanta Rhythm Section
Barry was the Atlanta Rhythm Section’s founding guitarist, and he appeared on every record until his retirement in 2006. Champagne Jam, released in 1978, was one of their most popular albums. The band has also performed on stages alongside The Who, The Rolling Stones, Foreigner, Heart, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, and others. Its roots may be traced back to 1970.
At the time, a local recording studio named Facility One opened, and the remains of the two bands became the studio’s house band. Buddy Buie, the facility’s manager, started putting together a session band that comprised Rodney Justo, Barry Bailey, Paul Goddard, Dean Daughtry, and Robert Nix. Justo was eventually replaced by newcomer Ronnie Hammond after the band’s first several albums failed to chart. Furthermore, they quickly released the hit single So Into You from the album A Rock and Roll Alternative, which became the group’s first gold-certified album.
They next released Champagne Jam, their highest-charting album of all time, in 1978, which resulted in two smash singles, I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight and Imaginary Lover. They ultimately become one of the most difficult traveling bands in the Southern rock genre. The band went on to create a number of hit albums, including Underdog, Are You Ready, Quinella, and others. Although they eventually parted, they continued to reconvene for performances and, after a decade, released their new studio album, Eufaula, in 1999.
Twitter users give their respects.
As the Atlanta Rhythm Section guitarist, Barry Bailey amassed a sizable fan following. When news of his death broke, many took to Twitter to express their sorrow:
RIP the great Barry Bailey. A towering guitar player, an indescribable influence on my music & absolutely one of the greatest to ever do it.
— Damon Johnson (@DamonJOfficial) March 13, 2022
— Calvin Heard (@CoalMtnCal) March 13, 2022
No known survivors of Bailey have been revealed, and further information about his personal life has yet to be disclosed.