Already, new plans are in motion. I was called upon to contract a choir to record a song for the motion picture, “Evan Almighty”, starring Steve Carrell. The song, “Ready For A Miracle” features Curb Recording Artist LeAnn Rimes. The recording exceeded all expectations, and is featured twice in the film, and is in the process of becoming a music video as well. I even got to trade a few lead vocals with LeAnn on the song. My good friend Dann Huff produced. He and I share a long and illustrious musical history together, that I will have to share with you at a later date. I have great admiration for him, and his entire family. The fabulous choir you hear on the recording include dear friends of mine, who just happen to be the premier vocalists on the planet. These are names you know, I’m sure. Vicki Hampton, Wendy Moten, Derrick Lee, Angela Bennett-Shelton, Everett Drake, Edward Jenkins, Emily Harris, Shandra Penix and Janice Corder. Keep your eyes and ears open for the film and the upcoming video.
I'm always thrilled when you "stop by" the web site to check on me. I'm fond of saying often that my life is good, and the last few months is certainly proof of that. Since I last took the time to write, I have been re-energized, encouraged, uplifted, and inspired by God's People from around the world. My sincere and heartfelt thanks to master web designer and great friend Kerry Smith for his constant encouragement and prodding to keep the site updated and fresh. So much has happened in the last quarter of a year. Allow me a few minutes to bring you up to date.
The "Evan Almighty" film experience helped to re-establish some wonderful relationships with the Huff Family. The producer of the song, "Are You Ready For A Miracle" on the album soundtrack was produced by Dann Huff, who I've known since before my arrival in Nashville in 1981. I met him through his supremely talented Father, Ronn, the iconic orchestral arranger, who invited me to Nashville in 1980 to sing on his Dove Award winning project, "Exaltation". The result of Ronn's kindness, caring, and encouragement of my gifts, was my decision to make Music City my home. He inspired a song on my Grammy nominated album, "I'm Walkin'", called "Ebenezer". I sang "Amen" on "Exaltation", and that song has been a staple in my repertoire ever since.
In December of last year, I traveled Aalborg, Denmark to appear with The Aalborg Symphony Orchestra in concerts of Gospel and Christmas Music. I was proud and excited to take with me Ronn Huff's handwritten score for "Amen", as well as an incredible new arrangement of the old Appalachian hymn, "I Wonder As I Wander", written especially for me, by my dear friend and world class arranger Bob Krogstad. The resulting concerts in Aalborg and Horsens, Denmark were well received, and well attended, both being sold out! Following the symphony shows, I traveled to Copenhagen, and Bornholm to perform solo concerts with my dear friend and long time collaborator Derrick Lee. The highlight of the trip was singing a candlelight Christmas Concert in a thousand year old church for a packed and appreciative audience.
I know I'm taking events a bit out of context, but such is my life. These days it lurches along in fits and starts, and every moment is exciting. Before I left for Denmark last December, I had the incredible good fortune to be a part of Garth Brooks' unprecedented string of sold out shows in Kansas City, Missouri, benefiting The Susan B. Koman Foundation for Cancer Research. Mr. Brooks took over Kansas City for ten days, playing ten sold out shows at the brand new Sprint Center, for 180,000 fans, in addition to simulcast one of the shows to 500 movie theaters around the world. It was a truly awesome experience, and I was honored to have been included.
This was followed by a trip to Los Angeles, California, for another unprecedented event. Five sold out shows in two days at The Staples Center last month, to benefit The Fire Intervention Relief Effort. These exciting and grueling shows featured Rock Music icon Huey Lewis, and Garth's lovely wife and Country Music diva, Trisha Yearwood, and was featured in a live CBS Television Special. The event raised $10,000,000 for the firefighters and the victims of those devastating fires in California last year. It was another spectacular experience, with a true music icon, and all around good guy. I was proud to have been included. By the way, that's my voice you hear singing background on the new Garth single, Working For A Living. It's a remake of the Huey Lewis song, and is a duet with Huey.
With a few minutes to catch my breath, I can announce that I hope to return to Madrid, Spain in October for a Gospel Choir Workshop and concert. Stay tuned for more details.
After a grueling 12 hour day of filming the video for "Ready For A Miracle" with LeAnn Rimes and casts of thousands in Lebanon and Watertown, TN, the evening ended perfectly with a private jet flight to Washington, D.C. with good friends Vicki Hampton, Trisha Yearwood, and Garth Brooks. After a good night's sleep, it was off to The Museum Of The American Indian for a private audience with former Vice President Al Gore, then a special "live" performance of Garth's big hit, "We Shall Be Free" for Live Earth. A happy whirlwind, indeed!
On July 31, I will travel to Copenhagen to conduct a Gospel workshop with The Amagar Gospel Kor(choir), which I was privileged to help create two years ago, along with my good friend Niels Engel-Hansen.
This December, I will return to Denmark to appear in two Christmas concerts featuring The Aalborg Symphony Orchestra in Aalborg, and Horsens, Denmark.
In the meantime, work will begin on a new Bob Bailey solo CD. I hope to have it completed by year’s end.
On April 26, 2007, after almost fifteen life changing years, my association with Wynonna Judd came to an end. As she has so eloquently stated on many occasions over the years, “Change is the most constant thing in the Universe.” I move on with mixed emotions, some fear, some sadness, and heaping helpings of profound gratitude to Wy, and the good folks who surround her, who made my sojourn with her such a pleasure, an incredible learning experience, and a blessing in my life.
I’m thrilled and excited about what the future holds. Since age four, I’ve been singing. And singing a quite specific kind of music, music that praises and glorifies my Creator. It is all I’ve ever wanted to do. I feel so blessed and fortunate to have the opportunity to get back to my first love.
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