January 17, 1920 – November 27, 2000 Remembering Walter Bailes

Remembering Walter Bailes (January 17, 1920 – November 27, 2000) a member of the famous country music group “The Bailes Brothers”, he was a writer of religious and secular songs and wrote most of his group’s music. His best known works included “Dust on the Bible,” and “Give Mother My Crown.” The former was often sung by Kitty Wells, and the later popularized by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. Walter and his brothers Homer, John, and Kyle seldom appeared together and usually paired off in various combinations. Walter and his brother John were stars of “the Grand Ole Opry” on Nashville’s WSM radio station during the middle 1940s.


In 1946, he started working for KWKH radio station in Shreveport, Louisiana. During that period of his career he helped form the group “Louisiana Hayride.” He played a significant role in starting the career of the legendary Hank Williams, Sr. In 1947, he began serving as a minister within the evangelical churches and therefore was replaced by his brother Homer in the duo. He preached numerous revivals both in the United States and overseas in addition to attending to the needs of his congregations. Under the King label, Walter and his brother John again joined forces as a gospel duo in the year 1953. Walter later formed the White Dove label and recorded numerous solo albums. During the final phase of his career he continued to cut records and attend public appearances in various combinations with his brothers. His song “Dust on the Bible” was included within the Smithsonian Institution’s Songwriters Museum.

About the author

I enjoy researching Bluegrass, Bluegrass Gospel, and Country birthdays, anniversaries and interesting trivia dates. I am a piano/organ performance major who has taught privately and served as church accompanist since 1968 in North Carolina and Central Kentucky. Although classically trained, I appreciate all genres of music. My mother, who was also a church musician and taught public school music grades K-12, knew that Bluegrass music was the purest American music. She always introduced her students to this fine genre and began my musical studies with her at age 2. Bach to Berachah Valley, Mozart to Jimmy Martin, Sibelius to Stanley Brothers, the list goes on, I hope you find some moments of enjoyment and learn a few interesting facts along the way.
I am thankful for the many resources we have at our fingertips including Google. FaceBook and BluegrassBios by Wayne Rice. It was he who inspired me to tackle the task of trying to pass on knowledge about Bluegrass music. Thanks Wayne~!
Lou Ellen Wilkie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.