Monday, January 16, 2012

Bill Bailey, disc jockey known as 'Duke of Louisville,' dies at age 81

Bill Bailey, disc jockey known as 'Duke of Louisville,' dies at age 81

Posted: 12:00am on Jan 15, 2012; Modified: 6:56am on Jan 15, 2012
On April 20, 1994, Bill Bailey entertained listeners for the last time before retiring. JANET WORNE | STAFF
Bill Bailey, 81, a longtime radio disc jockey known as the "Duke of Louisville," died Saturday morning at Norton Brownsboro Hospital in Louisville.
With a gravelly voice and an outspoken brand of humor, Mr. Bailey, born William Boahn, was an on-air personality for more than 30 years at radio stations in Louisville, most notably at WAKY 790 AM during the 1970s.
He later spent more than four years as an afternoon DJ on WVLK in Lexington before retiring in 1994.
WVLK host Jack Pattie said Saturday that in the 1960s and '70s, WAKY was a very popular rock station among teenagers in Louisville and Lexington.
"He was what everybody listened to," Pattie said. "I think he was one of the best broadcaster communicators ever. He was a huge influence in my career."
After retiring from WVLK, Mr. Bailey moved back to Louisville.
His daughter Faith Chapman said he had a stroke about 13 years ago, which required him to use a wheelchair, but "he never lost his personality."
As a resident of a nursing home in Pewee Valley, she said he did morning announcements over the public address system and had frequent visits from fans.
He enjoyed painting and said in a 1989 Herald-Leader article that he would "rather paint pictures than anything.
"But I do enjoy radio because it's so easy for me," he said. "I don't like to do anything that's difficult."
Mr. Bailey is survived by a son and three daughters.

1 comment:

  1. I grew up in Louisville listening to Bill Bailey on WAKY and in a thirty year career as a bartender finished it at Two Keys in Lexington where Bill Bailey would stop in for a couple of beers after doing his show on WVLK. His voice still rings in my ears! What a treat to hear him regale us in the bar about the Good Ole Days of Radio in Louisville.
    Eddie Gilmore