Friday, November 17, 2006

Norman Bailey

If there was ever the standard-bearer of excellent trumpet players from the Welk orchestra, Norman Bailey would fit the bill!

The native of Worcester, Massachusetts; Norm's first long term engagement with a big band was with the Freddy Martin Orchestra where music fans everywhere got to hear him in action. Later he moved out to Southern California where in 1952, he joined the Welk band and that is where "Iron Lips" really made a name for himself.

Some of his most popular numbers on the show include "Sugar Blues" and "Hot Lips". One of his proteges include fellow music maker Johnny Zell.

The father of two daughters; one of them, Janice, made several guest appearances on the show where she displayed her talents as a singer. He was also good friends with the Lennon Sisters and their family, and until he left in 1973, was truly a professional and reliable music maker for all.

He passed on July 11, 1984 aged 71; thankfully, we all have reruns of the show where his memory lives to this day.


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