Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Deford Bailey

Marker ID: THC 3A 138
Location: at the intersection of Edgehill Ave and 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN
County: Davidson
Coordinates: N 36° 08.560    W 086° 47.212
  36.14266666    -86.78686666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMD15F


Bailey, a pioneer of the Grand Ole Opry and its first black musician, lived in the Edgehill neighborhood for nearly 60 years. His shoe-shine shop was on 12th Ave., South, near this intersection. His harmonica performance of the “Pan American Blues” inspired Judge George D. Hay to dub WSM‘s Barn Dance the “Grand Ole Opry.” Traveling extensively with Opry musicians, he entertained audiences throughout the South and Midwest. In 1928, he recorded eight sides for RCA Victor during Nashville‘s first recording session.