In Memoriam: Barry Bailey (1949 – 2022)

Barry Bailey, best-known as the guitarist in southern rock band Atlanta Rhythm Section, has died at the age of 73. According to Atlanta-based TV station WXIA-TV, the rocker died “in his sleep Saturday night (March 12) after years of struggling with multiple sclerosis.”

Sunset Blvd. Records issued the following… “Some sad news tonight as we report the passing of one of our own, Barry Bailey, guitarist of the iconic rock bank Atlanta Rhythm Section. The storied musician was 73 years old at the time of his passing.”

The Decatur native passed away in his sleep Saturday night after years of struggling with multiple sclerosis. Over the years, the band has shared a stage with the likes of rock legends Bob Seger, Foreigner, Heart and Aerosmith. One of the band’s most memorable performances was on the White House lawn in 1977, when they played for the birthday of President Jimmy Carter’s son.

Originally the house band at Studio One recording studio in Doraville, Ga., Atlanta Rhythm Section officially became a band in 1970. Their debut album, a self-titled effort, would arrive in 1972 — the first of 13 studio LPs that would be released across their five-decade career. Along the way, the group scored several Top 20 hits, including “So in to You,” “I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight,” “Imaginary Lover,” “Do It or Die” and “Spooky.” Bailey, the group’s founding guitarist, would play on every album until his retirement in 2006, the most successful of which was 1978’s platinum-selling Champagne Jam.