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Harmonica Great DeFord Bailey Gets His Due

DeFord Bailey was one of the first stars of the Grand Ole Opry, and was also one of its only black stars.

The Tennessee-born Bailey played at the Opry from 1926 to 1941. But in January of that year, a flap over publishing contracts led the Opry to fire him. After that, Bailey's only audiences were friends and people at the shoeshine parlor he started in Nashville.

Just a few months after a reunion performance at the Opry in 1982, Deford Bailey died at 84 years old. On Tuesday, his son and two daughters will accept the award commemorating their father’s induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Rebecca Bain of member station WPLN reports.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Rebecca Bain