Listening to Kathie Baillie sing is an intimate experience. She can break your heart, make you want to get up and dance, and at times, inspire and comfort you. No matter what type of song, Kathie Baillie sings with a passion and purity uniquely her own. Articulate and evocative, Kathie’s voice has an emotional depth that brings the lyrics to life. She doesn’t just interpret a song, she inhabits it. Whether lamenting a lost love, reflecting on a life past, or even kicking her man to the curb, Kathie imbues her music with a believability that few others can equal. Praised by critics and admired by her peers, Kathie Baillie is that special singer-songwriter who will become a part of your life.
SOME HISTORY – KATHIE BAILLIE OF BAILLIE AND THE BOYS
Born in New Jersey, raised in Connecticut and Delaware, Kathie’s musical talents were nurtured by her parents, Jim and Kay Baillie. While still in her teens, Kathie began performing at school functions and local cafes, playing acoustic guitar and singing covers of Judy Collins, Joan Baez, and Bonnie Raitt. Influenced by both the folk music scene and the confessional songwriting style of Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Tim Harden, Kathie developed her own heartfelt style.
In the early 1970’s, Kathie, future husband Michael Bonagura, and his longtime school friend, Alan LeBeouf, formed “Bittersweet,” an acoustic trio. Known for their close harmonies and Kathie’s crystalline voice, the trio toured extensively up and down the East Coast performing to sold-out audiences at legendary NYC clubs (The Bottom Line, Folk City, Trax). They released their first single, “Please Don’t Tell Me Goodnight” under the Big Tree Records/Atlantic imprint in 1975. In addition to their live shows, the group recorded a number of jingles for Burger King, and provided background vocals for acts as diverse as the Ramones.
In 1981, Kathie was invited to Nashville to provide backup vocals for a new project with Ed Bruce. The song, “My First Taste of Texas,” became a BillBoard #1 hit single and gave Kathie her first taste of Nashville. Music City became their home later that same year, and both Kathie and Michael soon gained recognition as session singers and songwriters. They recorded background vocals on projects for Moe Brandy, Dan Seals, Lynn Anderson, Randy Travis and others. LeBeouf eventually joined the two in Nashville and, after a successful live audition, the trio was signed by RCA Records in 1985. “Oh Heart,” the first single by Baillie and the Boys, became the group’s first top ten hit and their trademark song. They followed with five more albums garnering a total of ten Top Ten country hits, many of which were co-written by Kathie. The critical and commercial success of the group’s music earned Baillie and the Boys awards and nominations from the Country Music Association, the Academy of Country Music, and the TNN/Music City News Awards. In 1991, Kathie co-hosted the nationally televised Music City News Awards Show with legendary Nashville performers Ray Stevens and Jimmy Dean. For two consecutive seasons during the mid-1990s, Kathie was also a co-host and regular performer on The Nashville Network’s Yesteryear show.