a message from bob

Born on February 19, 1956 in Middletown, Ohio, I grew up singing with my family. My first remembrance was at age 4 standing next to the piano at the New Era Baptist Church. I was beside my sister Ora, and brother Jodell while Mom played piano and sang with us. We sang two verses of the hymn, “At The Cross”. I remember taking the solo on the 2nd verse, and adjusting the lyrics as only a 4 year old can, to, “And drops of grease can ne’er repay the debt of love I owe...”. The family moved to Portland, Oregon in 1961, and we continued to sing together until I left for college in 1974, on a classical voice scholarship, to the University of Oregon, Eugene, where I muddled through for three years. Then I received a call to join a Christian band touring the States and Northern Europe for a year, and I dropped everything to “join the circus”.

The tour was a life changing experience for me. The band was New Hope, a full-time unit of Coninental Ministries, and during the 7 months I was with them, we sojourned through many of the 50 states, England, Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. While in Denmark, I met Georg Julin, who is responsible for encouraging me to continue my musical ministry. Georg was the tour manager for New Hope in Scandanavia. We developed a personal friendship that endures. After returning home to Oregon after the tour, I got a call to join The PTL Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, and grabbed my four earthly possessions and made a beeline for Charlotte. I stayed almost three years. I learned so much about the “real world” there, deepened my musical chops, met some incredible people, got to be on national television daily, and opened my eyes to what my ministry was to be about. While there, I was privileged to attend the Christian Artist Seminar at Estes Park, Colorado, and to meet my dear friend Bob Krogstad, who facilitated my first recording contract on Goodlife Records out of Phoenix, Arizona.

After leaving PTL in January 1981, I moved to Nashville, TN and went to work as a songwriter for Lorenz Creative Services. Lorenz bought the masters to my first record, “Looking Forward” from Goodlife and released it on the Benson Company label. Lorenz also produced my 2nd album, “I’m Walkin’”, which was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1984 for Best Gospel Performance, Male. The next several years are kind of cloudy, filled with lots of drugs, disappointments, anger, rejection, racism, fear, defeat, and darkness. Then, at Thanksgiving 1989 my dear friend and booking agent Michael A. McKinney literally drove from Louisville, Kentucky to Nashville to hand deliver me to a drug treatment facility. I left the center 30 days later a new person, reconnected to the unconditional love of God, and ready to get on with what God had called me to do. Since then, I’ve been enjoying each day, staying sober, and singing. Doors have opened that were unimaginable to me. Wynonna Judd entered the picture in 1992, and embraced me with her wonderfully kind and generous spirit. I was blessed to be a part of her touring and recording experience for 15 years. In addition, I’ve been traveling back and forth to Denmark, observing the surging popularity of Gospel Music there, and offering my humble gifts to what God is already doing there.

Let me hear from you. Your thoughts, prayers, comments, suggestions, and opinions are always welcome. Drop me a line at bebailey@aol.com.

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