Atlanta Music Scene

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Dr. Bobbie Bailey to be memorialized this weekend at Kennesaw State University

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI

Dr. Bobbie Bailey’s accomplishments as a businesswoman and philanthropist are well-documented resume entries.

Not many people’s lives warrant a book of their achievements, but the Alabamian-turned-Georgian resided in that rare air (for a detailed account of her extraordinary life, check out “The Ultimate Producer,” published in 2013 by Kennesaw State University Press).

Bailey, a resident of Ansley Park, died July 25 at the age of 87.

On Saturday at 11 a.m., a public memorial celebration will be held at Kennesaw State University in, fittingly, the 624-seat venue dedicated to her in 2007 – the Dr. Bobbie Bailey and Family Performance Center.

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But in addition to her successes in the business world – she founded Our-Way company and presided as the sole owner and CEO of the business, which remanufactured refrigerator compressors, for more than 50 years – Bailey was an avid music fan.

She didn’t play any instruments or sing, but she formed a pair of record labels in the 1980s – R-X Melody Music and Southernaire Music Company – and aided The Platters with a 25th anniversary album and TV special.

She also produced the Georgia Music Hall of Fame Awards show ( the 37th annual ceremony takes place Sept. 26 and will likely include a tribute to Bailey) and served on the Atlanta Board of Trustees for the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences   in Atlanta.

Bailey was a true “Renaissance woman,” said Michele Caplinger, senior executive director of The Recording Academy’s Atlanta Chapter.

After meeting Bailey in the early ‘90s when both were involved with NARAS, Caplinger said she quickly learned of Bailey’s history with and support of the GRAMMY® organization, both nationally and in Georgia.

“I was already aware of her ongoing involvement and critical support of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame Awards, as well as her generous contributions at KSU and annual Music Scholarships to GSU,”Caplinger said, “But what I wasn’t aware of and continued to learn over the next few decades through our business association and friendship, was ALL the outstanding philanthropy this incredible woman was responsible for…she was in a league all of her own, carved her own way against many odds and accomplished more in one lifetime than most people even dare to dream.”

For more of Bailey’s history, here is the obituary detailing her life.

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About the Author

Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers the Atlanta Music Scene and entertainment news for print and online.

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