*Hey Everybody, It is me, Bowlegged Lou of Full Force and The House Party Movie Thang.
This is a special article I wanted to spearhead in honor of the legendary Lee Bailey who is loved and respected by so many. Today is birthday number 73 for Lee
He had no idea that I was putting this together so don’t blame it on him as I reached out & enlisted some of his own folk as my accomplices. Special shout out to Larita Shelby who is Lee’s gatekeeper at EURweb.com.
Advertisers and corporate sponsors are invited to support this legacy brand of news and entertainment. Lee Bailey’s EURweb.com, Covering the Culture since 1996. For info on how to support email: [email protected].
I first met Lee Bailey back in 1985 when my group Full Force was signed to Columbia Records and one of the 1st press stops we made was in Los Angeles to Lee Bailey’s RadioScope studios and offices.
RadioScope to me was like Entertainment Tonight on the urban radio waves. 1st of its kind and groundbreaking. One of the very 1st urban radio shows to ever be syndicated.
Everybody from Michael Jackson to James Brown to myriad up and comers was interviewed by RadioScope. They gave you the urban entertainment news with no filter while telling it like it is. The show was just different, innovative, fun and informative. They had sound effects too.
We were interviewed countless times on the ‘Scope. I also don’t know how many times Full Force was the subject of jokes regarding Jheri Curls & muscles. RadioScope poked fun at everybody. They were so ahead of their time. They were before TMZ, Wendy Williams, Entertainment Tonight, Extra & many of the specialty shows on radio.
I fell in love with RadioScope and the show’s personalities and voices that included Lee Bailey who sounded like Barry White & Isaac Hayes combined on the mic. Also LaRita Shelby, Mike Mosbe, Diane Blackmon Bailey, Dan Stuart, Danielle Holland & the late Cameron Turner.
I will now turn it over to that Radioscope crew to take a trip down memory lane and lend their words and sentiments about the birthday boy, my friend, the legendary Lee Bailey. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LEE. I got nothing but love support respect and prayers for you every day all day.
For Lee Bailey from Diane Blackmon
The music industry in the ’80s and ’90s was enchanting. Black Radio and Record artists dominated the airways and American Soul was a force to be reckoned with. “Black Was In,” to quote the LA Times.
And one of the major national syndicated forces of the era was RadioScope: “The Entertainment Magazine of the Air.” Created and hosted by Lee Bailey.
Another music industry phenomenon was the radio and records industry’s annual conferences: Jack the Rapper in Atlanta and BRE in Los Angeles. The year was 1983, the first year BRE was hosted in the city of Houston … that is where I first met Lee Bailey. All my clothes had been stolen as I sat in the lobby of the hotel for hours along with what looked like hundreds of other registered guests of the conference, something we had grown accustomed to as thousands of enthusiastic music industry’s “who’s who” crowed into the event host cities.
After discovering that all my suitcases had been stolen along with many others at the conference, Lee came to my rescue, swooping me up like a damsel in distress.
Taking me to the local mall and buying me all new clothes from head to toe including a toothbrush.
We would go on to first become business partners, marry, and produce, a number of syndicated entertainment shows ( before ET Entertainment Tonight ) including RadioScope, Inside Gospel ( Gospel Insider ) Hip Hop Countdown and Report, Black University Radio Network among other award-winning shows. That was 37 years ago.
We also produced community outreach with the Watts Willowbrook Boys and Girls club, in South-Central LA, where we introduced the neighborhood to everybody from Denzel Washington to Bobby Brown. They all came out in support of our RadioScope Summer Fresh and Christmas Caravan events.
One particular year at SummerFresh at the Watts Willowbrook Boys and Girls Club, our headliner was Bobby Brown, straight from his “It’s My Prerogative” solo release and success. After Browns’ performance which induced pure pandemonium (several of the young girls in attendance fainted), it wasn’t until later that we realized there had been a car accident involving the singer. Luckily it was just a fender bender and all was well. On the ride back to our offices/studios via Jackson Limousine, all Lee and I could do was shake our heads and thank God. That was a close one.
Another highlight was Eddie Murphy’s spectacular wedding of the decade in New York City, every A-List star you could imagine of was there. So were Lee and I. It was indeed a royal affair!
Beautifully decorated with exquisite flower arrangements along with accents of satin fabric lay lining the grand entrance floors leading to the wedding grand ballroom, VIP seating area. Of course, I had bought a new outfit along with matching shoes which were just a little to slick for satin-covered floors and before I or Lee realized I had lost my footing sliding uncontrollably while trying to maintain control and dignity. LOL. I felt myself losing all balance, I thought to my self if I fall at this wedding in front of all these important people and celebrities we will have to leave, and go home, back to LA, how embarrassing will this be.
All the while I’m looking at Lee and by his reaction, I knew he was not about to catch me and this is going to be ugly. At that moment a man (a stranger whom I assume was security) jetted across the floor, as both of my feet lifted off the ground, I was going down. It was like slow motion and a scene from The Bodyguard starring Whitney Houston, this unknown man reach out and caught me at the last minute.
All the while Lee was frozen in shock and watching me fall. Once I gained my composer and thank the bodyguard we laughed. Because we both knew had I fell we would have never witnessed Eddie’s wedding which really was one of the most dazzling ceremonies I had ever attended … ’cause we would’ve gone home in shame. I would have never lived that moment down. Not ever!
And then there was the notorious and Infamous annual Camp RadioScope, celebrating Lee’s Birthday and our Wedding Anniversary, a downright decadent, beach party weekend extravaganza at Oxnard California’s Embassy Suites. Where the party started on Friday and ended on Sunday.
From the moment I met Lee Bailey my life has been an epic adventure! Thank for all the love and memories Mr. Bailey.
Wishing you Happy Birthday and many more! Love you madly.
Looking forward to the next 35+ amazing years of friendship. Love.
Diane Blackmon Bailey
To Lee Bailey by Mike Mosbe
I’ll always remember my first meeting with Lee Bailey. I had just moved to LA, my car had been broken into, and all of my demo material stolen. Lee invited me out to the Raber studio and I was so overwhelmed with thanks that someone had actually returned my call that I asked if I could bring him a coffee or anything. In that deep bass voice, he rumbled: “Bring me a McDonalds deluxe breakfast.”
When I got to the Raber studios I was a little put-off. It was a renovated garage with a small 8 track recording system and announce booth. Having listened to RadioScope in my hometown and then in Boston I couldn’t believe that so much great stuff was coming out of this tiny little dust bin.
Lee met me dressed in pajamas and a robe. After the awkward introductions were exchanged, he spied the food and said “That for me?” While he ate I poured out my soul about wanting to be in radio, all the things I’d done, and how all my material had been stolen from the car. He crumpled up the fast-food bag and said, “You ain’t but one in a million.” And then I said, “Yeah, but I bring snacks.”
When I look back at all the great teams of people Lee brought together and all of the cutting edge “Edu-tainment”, Black news and entertainment views that we produced out of his personal version of Hitsville I’m immensely proud. Lee will always be that down to earth guy I met my first days in LA. Most of all I appreciate his ability to see the next trend. He was all over the Internet with the EUR before a lot of people even new what the internet was. I had to read three books about it just to understand what he was talking about. Some people thought he was nuts…. which is still debatable. Most legends are.
Happy Birthday Lee Bailey. Forever on your team
To Lee Bailey by Danielle Holland
HOW WORKING AT RADIOSCOPE LAUNCHED MY CAREER IN ENTERTAINMENT
I was that kid growing up in the 1970s that read the credits on the backs of albums and the inner sleeves. I would read about the record executives and the people behind the artists in industry trade magazines (like Billboard and Cash Box) that my Uncle Bobby Holland (a renowned image-maker) would send to me. I wanted to be one of them – the ‘Taste Makers’ … the movers and shakers influencing the artists and R&B music. Lee Bailey and RadioScope allowed me to work with all the artists.
It was November 16, 1987 when I became an entry-level employee at RadioScope: The Entertainment Magazine of the Air. Within 6 months of my employment, the Stations Relations Director (of whom I would assist with the radio stations communications) left to start her own PR firm. It was Diane Blackmon-Bailey, Lee’s wife, and business partner that pulled me into her office to discuss my moving into the Stations Relations Department position. Under her direction, she taught me the stations marketing game and molded me into one of the top competing Stations Relations Directors, in syndicated radio! Lee was instrumental in making sure I knew (off the top of my head) all programmers’ names and their histories, radio formats, and station’s market rankings.
As my career grew within the corporation and the radio industry I was able to build RadioScope’s network of stations and area of reach to saturate 89% of the nation’s black radio stations. Lee and Diane would allow me to consult with them on the direction of clearing stations and to lay-out our national and international footprint for our various shows and program specials we aired throughout the nation and in 47 countries overseas. My co-workers and I had access to every new artist or group of our time, along with their concerts and exclusive access to our ‘American Idols’ we grew up listening to or admired in films and television.
Most of us were so young and in our early 20s. We were young executives running a national and internationally known pop-culture program and corporation out of Universal/Hollywood, CA. We were behind the scenes programming the air-waves across the world – the reason why the audience tuned in daily and weekly. RadioScope was not the only successful daily and weekend program we produced. There was Inside Gospel, and the well-produced The Hip Hop Countdown & Report. I do believe our hip hop show warmed up black radio to playing rap music; when radio wasn’t open to playing that edgy genre of music or the artists that made the hits.
Lee Bailey was the kind of creative visionary that guided us and trusted us with his direction for RadioScope and his company overall. He let us build our careers that supported our lifestyles and established our positions in the radio and records industries.
Lee was so well respected within the music, radio, and film industries that every time we pulled out our business cards or told people who we worked for – you could see the admiration on their faces or hear it in their voices. There wasn’t a party, event, venue or awards show we didn’t attend.
We gained and were respected because of Lee’s good name. Strange questions that still till this day people ask me about Lee. ‘Is that reeeally how Lee Bailey talks? Seriously, does he reeeally sound like that every day?’ Yes, Lee, still to this day, has that beautiful distinctive, deep baritone, handsome cadence in his voice. We liken it to ‘The Voice of God’.
I have told Lee and Diane that working for them at RadioScope were the best years of my life and career. I still long for the times with my co-workers and the bonds all of us forged. We grew up together and have a life-long connection. I truly miss the ones we lost over the years. Many of us have moved on to other successes or are purveyors at our own businesses. I could only hope that we have made Lee Bailey proud.
I am forever grateful for the trust that was bestowed upon me so many years ago. What I learned from my years at RadioScope I have incorporated into my own business practices.
RadioScope got its name from Songwriter, Diane Quander while in the kitchen of Bobby Holland.
Here’s to you Lee Bailey by LaRita “Jazzy Rita” Shelby
I could start this out by saying “Thanks for the memories.” The song made famous by Bob Hope in tribute to our troops is the perfect sentiment for Mr. Lee Bailey, who is a commander-general of urban infotainment. Via the Radioscope syndicated program that aired on 150 stations in the ’80s and ’90s to the current EURweb.com, Mr. Bailey has manned a content platform that has been a launching pad for many aspiring broadcasters, journalists, reporters, photographers and columnists in the star-studded entertainment industry. Both RadioScope and EURweb.com have a global reach.
My journey with the Bailey brand began after I got out of college in the ’80s and I was a young weekend jock on KGFJ in Los Angeles. I went from spot announcing to hosting RadioScope, before becoming the Chief Journalist in the late ’90s. Along the way, I landed a contract with Armed Forces Radio. My signature show was aired in 57 countries and I was happy to feature RadioScope on my show. The troops overseas loved it. Today, I am Director of Digital Strategy & Sales at EURweb.com, which now stands for Everything Urban and Radioscope. It’s still the best day job ever!
Okay, so here’s a few of my most memorable moments. There was the time that The Temptations were guest co-hosts of Radioscope. At the end of the show I started singing “My Girl.” I started with “I guess you say…” and then Otis Williams and Theo Peoples joined in Temptations style harmony and we finished the song! I also co-hosted an episode with the legendary Jack The Rapper. There was also the day that I was interviewing Stedman Graham in one studio and I walked in the hallway to discover that Mr. Bailey had just finished interviewing Billy Dee Williams.
As for EURweb.com, I can sum up those memories in two events. One was when we were invited to interview director Charles Randolph-Wright and the legendary Motown founder Berry Gordy; whom I had never met. The occasion was the Los Angeles premiere of Motown The Musical. I stood back beaming as Mr. Bailey conducted the interview. Afterward, I asked Lee to introduce me. Well before Mr. Bailey could finish, Mr. Gordy interjected that he had already heard of Jazzy Rita. You could have blown me away with a feather. The second most outstanding memory was when The Pantages personally invited me to the Los Angeles opening of Hamilton.
Due to my affiliation with EURweb.com, I got to be in the room where it happened on opening night! There are many others. Not only is Mr. Bailey a mentor, but I have also now been blessed to mentor another up-and-coming talent along the way. The journey continues. I don’t think anyone knows how long and hard Mr. Bailey works. Well maybe you do if you happen to call him and he hasn’t had any sleep or food. This is not advised for the faint of heart. All and all, it’s been a nice run and the blessing continues. We long for more big-ticket corporate sponsors and advertisers to be our media partners. Mr. Lee Bailey knew that Black Entertainment News mattered long before it was fashionable for the mainstream. Hopefully, we can be included in the stream of love that is flowing for all things Black these days. Mr. Bailey keeps it real, so world let’s keep it coming. Here’s a shout out to the one and only Lee Bailey! Happy Birthday and that’s the bottom line!
To Lee Bailey by Dan Stuart
Lee Bailey had a vision. He wanted his flagship national program “RadioScope” to be more edgy. He wanted to give people something to talk about. “Don’t hold back,” Lee told me during my first day at the Bailey Broadcasting offices on Cahuenga Boulevard West.
“When you find something interesting, amplify it,” he said. “Make it memorable. If there’s controversy, just go for it.”
At the time, I was a 21-year-old white kid trying to elbow my way into the R&B/Hip-Hop music media business. I had a pretty cool résumé for my age. I was the resident weekend DJ at Casa Maria in Pasadena (a Mexican restaurant that’s now part of the El Torito chain) and that kept my R&B/Hip-Hop ears finely tuned. I’d been writing a weekly column for “Impact,” a Black music tip sheet for about a year. I’d written a handful of stories for Steve Ivory, the editor of Black Beat, a leading fan magazine. Clarence Avant (then of Tabu Records) tracked me down and gave me the first official interview of Alexander O’Neal in advance of his debut album. And, I’d written a couple of features for “RadioScope.” So, things felt like they were going pretty well at this early stage in my career. But this call from Lee Bailey, well, this was unexpected.
“I need to know if you can write the show for a while,” Lee said. “Write the show? – – By myself??,” I thought to myself. “There’s been some changes here,” he said. “I need someone now who can step in and write everything until we can rebuild a new staff. I need next week’s scripts in two or three days.”
I told Lee that I was flattered, and I appreciated his faith in what I could do for him. But, to make this work, I would have to drop my college classes so I could work for him full-time. “Would this be a permanent position?” I asked. “Well, I’ll be honest, ‘RadioScope’ needs an experienced editor who can move the show forward, so I’ve got some feelers out.” I asked him if he would consider me a candidate for the permanent editor’s position. Lee paused. “Maybe,” he growled. So, we made a deal. I committed myself to coposing everything that “RadioScope” would need for 30 days. Lee agreed that, if he liked my work, he would keep me on as Editor.
On my first day in the office, Lee sat me down and told me what he wanted the show to sound like. He was unafraid of controversy. As Lee saw it, it was his duty to his listeners to shake things up and make things interesting. And that’s exactly what we did.
For more than three years, I had the unique privilege of writing and editing almost all of the words that Lee Bailey’s powerful voice delivered to over 100 radio stations nearly every day on “RadioScope.” Whether we were delving into Janet Jackson’s successes and struggles, leaking unreleased Prince tracks, reliving Marvin Gaye’s life story through a three-hour tear-jerking radio documentary, or launching the nation’s first “Hip-Hop Countdown” show, Lee was a dynamic partner who seemed truly thrilled and energized by every “good show.”
Fast forward to today, I’m coming up on my 25th anniversary as a licensed attorney. I’ve been a music lawyer for a long list of some of the biggest names in music. But, to this day, being the Editor of RadioScope was the most fun I’ve ever had at work – and it also opened a lot of doors for me. I owe Lee Bailey an enormous debt of gratitude and I still think of him often.
And Now A Short Happy Birthday Video to Lee Bailey from Bow Legged Lou and his Lovely Mom!
More Madness from the Warped Mind of Bow Legged Lou: The “Interlude (RadioScope 900-Force Line)” on YouTube