Folk Musician David Bailey: Singer, Songwriter, Survivor
Folksinger and guitarist David Bailey, a 13-year brain cancer survival with 20 albums and performances in 21 countries and 45 states, challenges his audiences to live passionately and treasure the beauty of each new day.
Bailey performs at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2 in the Remick Heritage Center at Alma College. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors 62 and up, and free for Alma College staff, students and youth 18 and under. Seating is reserved. Call (989) 463-7304 for ticket information.
Strong melodies and intricate finger picking help deliver insightful lyrics about three of his favorite themes: faith, hope and love. Hailed by one reviewer as a “prophet with a guitar, ” Bailey’s music resonates with audiences of all ages, says Alma College Chaplain Carol Gregg.
“David’s music is inspiring and uplifting,” says Gregg. “His message of hope strikes with powerful authenticity when you know how he has lived it. David recently had to battle brain cancer a second time, having first battled the disease in 1996, and yet he still continues to sing with joy and hope.”
Bailey’s songs are reminiscent of folk legends like James Taylor and Cat Stevens, though he also points to the eclectic influences of Kahlil Gibran, David Wilcox and J.S. Bach.
“David put on a great show when he was at Alma three years ago,” says Mike Sheldon, event coordinator at the Remick Heritage Center. “He has a great message and is an amazing talent.”
The son of Presbyterian missionaries, Bailey spent his childhood in Beirut, Lebanon. He learned his first chords in seventh grade, went on to study classical guitar and soon began writing his own songs, a passion he would nourish for years to come.
The Lebanese civil war forced him to complete high school at a boarding school in Germany. He spent weekends as a street musician and formed a small ensemble that toured in churches behind the Iron Curtain and Central Europe. In college, he played extensively in an original acoustic duo, but then put his guitar away and entered corporate America.
Ten years later, doctors told Bailey he had a malignant brain tumor and would be dead in a few months. Bailey left his corporate job and returned to his first love of songwriting and performing. Over the past 13 years he has devoted his career to writing, recording and performing music.
His story has been featured on CBS News/48 Hours, 60 Minutes, Fox/Health, Family Health channel, NPR, and dozens of newspapers and magazines across the country. In May 2003, he won the prestigious Kerrville NewFolk songwriting competition and has since shared the stage with many others on many stages including the Bluebird Café, The Grey Eagle, and the Nameless.
Posted: Mon, September 21st, 2009 at 8:19AM