Fred Bailey, founding member of The HardTackers, passed away on September 27, 2014. Fred was a consummate and fearless performer and songwriter, and a virtual library of lyrics and lore. He grew up on the Oklahoma prairie, at the western end of the Cherokee Strip, but not quite the Panhandle. His experiences on a helicopter crew in the Vietnam War gave his anti-war message a cachet and intensity lacking in those from safer perspectives. He was a scholar, a folksinger, and a poet, at times rubbing elbows with songwriters such as Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. Fred was a lover of aviation, exhibiting nerves of steel in many years as a flight instructor. Fred and his wife Nancy were stalwarts and sustaining members of the Columbus Folk Music Society and the cultural fabric of the Columbus folk music community owes much to their contributions. His passing has left an empty place in all our lives. The HardTackers sorely miss his voice, wit, wisdom, and company, but we are thankful for the great memories we have of our times with himů
Fair winds, Fred.